Cell Biology

Proliferation Control

Science Signaling  01 Jun 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 124, pp. ec163
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3124ec163

The protein complex mTORC1, which contains the protein kinase known as mammalian target of rapamycin, is an important regulator of cell proliferation and cell size. Among many targets, mTORC1 phosphorylates the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs), thus controlling translation of proteins that regulate proliferation. Dowling et al. used mice lacking expression of the 4E-BPs to show that these proteins contribute to mTORC1’s activation of cell proliferation but are dispensable for the effects of mTORC1 on cell growth. The latter required another mTORC1 target—the ribosomal protein S6 kinase. mTORC1 inhibitors are being explored as potential anticancer agents, and the presence of 4E-BPs was necessary for mTORC1 inhibitors to reduce the number and size of colonies formed by transformed mouse cells.

R. J. O. Dowling, I. Topisirovic, T. Alain, M. Bidinosti, B. D. Fonseca, E. Petroulakis, X. Wang, O. Larsson, A. Selvaraj, Y. Liu , S. C. Kozma, G. Thomas, N. Sonenberg, mTORC1-mediated cell proliferation, but not cell growth, controlled by the 4E-BPs. Science 328, 1172–1176 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]