Cell Biology

Break Down to Build Up

Science Signaling  24 May 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 174, pp. ec146
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4174ec146

At certain points during development and aging, cells appear to catabolize their own constituents in order to provide the amino acids required for new protein synthesis. Narita et al. (see the Perspective by Zoncu and Sabatini) identified a protein recycling factory that can be formed to enhance protein synthesis in order to facilitate en masse secretion. This mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)–autophagy spatial coupling compartment allows the simultaneous activation of both mTOR and autophagy, leading to concurrent protein synthesis and degradation and significantly enhancing protein turnover.

M. Narita, A. R. J. Young, S. Arakawa, S. A. Samarajiwa, T. Nakashima, S. Yoshida, S. Hong, L. S. Berry, S. Reichelt, M. Ferreira, S. Tavaré, K. Inoki, S. Shimizu, M. Narita, Spatial coupling of mTOR and autophagy augments secretory phenotypes. Science 332, 966–970 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. Zoncu, D. M. Sabatini, The TASCC of secretion. Science 332, 923–925 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]