The protein mTOR is a central controller of growth and metabolism.
Deregulation of mTOR signaling increases the risk of developing metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cancer. In the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel describe how aberrant mTOR signaling in the liver not only affects hepatic metabolism but also whole body physiology.
Activated mTORC1 signaling (top) correlates with increased FGF21 expression (below) in human liver tumor.
University of Basel, Biozentrum
The protein mTOR regulates cell growth and metabolism and thus plays a key role in the development of human disorders. In the cell, this regulatory protein is found in two structurally and functionally distinct protein complexes called mTORC1 and mTORC2. In a recent study, the research group of Prof. Michael Hall from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has shed light on the role of hepatic mTORC1 in whole body physiology and the relevance for human liver cancers.
Hepatic mTORC1 controls whole body physiology
In mammals, the liver is a key organ that controls whole body physiology in response to nutrients. Hall’s team investigated the role of the nutrient sensor mTORC1 in this process. The researchers were able to show that activation of mTORC1 in the liver of mice reduces not only hepatic lipid metabolism but also locomotor activity and body temperature.
Upon investigating the underlying molecular mechanism, they observed that mTORC1 hyperactivation enhances the level of the stress hormone FGF21 by depletion of the amino acid glutamine. Treatment of animals with glutamine reduced the level of FGF21 and thus prevented the physiological impairments.
Cancer treatment with mTORC1 inhibitors
Human cancers often exhibit aberrant mTORC1 signaling and glutamine addiction. “We were excited to see that in human liver tumors mTORC1 signaling correlates with FGF21 expression”, comments cell biologist Dr. Marion Cornu and first author of the study.
Moreover, mTORC1 inhibitors such as rapamycin are currently used as immunosuppressive agents and anti-cancer drugs. Thus, the novel findings of Hall’s team provide evidence that treatment of glutamine addicted human cancers with rapamycin might have beneficial effects by blocking tumor growth and by preventing deregulation of whole body physiology.
Marion Cornu, Wolfgang Oppliger, Verena Albert, Aaron M. Robitaille, Francesca Trapani, Luca Quagliata, Tobias Fuhrer, Uwe Sauer, Luigi Terracciano, Michael N. Hall
Hepatic mTORC1 controls locomotor activity, body temperature, and lipid metabolism through FGF21
PNAS; published online 31 July 2014 | doi: 10.1073/pnas.1412047111
Prof. Michael N. Hall, University of Basel, Biozentrum, phone: +41 61 267 21 50, email: email@example.com
Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel
Rice study decodes genetic circuitry for bacterial spore formation
24.05.2016 | Rice University
How Neural Circuits Implement Natural Vision
24.05.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.
In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...
Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices
Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.
When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene
In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...
The trend-forward world of display technology relies on innovative materials and novel approaches to steadily advance the visual experience, for example through higher pixel densities, better contrast, larger formats or user-friendler design. Fraunhofer ISC’s newly developed materials for optics and electronics now broaden the application potential of next generation displays. Learn about lower cost-effective wet-chemical printing procedures and the new materials at the Fraunhofer ISC booth # 1021 in North Hall D during the SID International Symposium on Information Display held from 22 to 27 May 2016 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
Staphylococcus aureus usually is a formidable bacterial pathogen. Sometimes, however, weakened forms are found in the blood of patients. Researchers of the University of Würzburg have now identified one mutation responsible for that phenomenon.
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is frequently found on the human skin and in the nose where it usually behaves inconspicuously. However, once inside...
24.05.2016 | Event News
20.05.2016 | Event News
19.05.2016 | Event News
24.05.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.05.2016 | Information Technology
24.05.2016 | Materials Sciences