Research ArticleCell Biology

Phagocytosed photoreceptor outer segments activate mTORC1 in the retinal pigment epithelium

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Science Signaling  29 May 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 532, eaag3315
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aag3315

Activating mTORC1 with phagocytosis

Every morning, photoreceptor outer segments in the retina are shed, phagocytosed by the retinal pigment epithelium, and degraded to enable renewal. Defects in this process contribute to retinal degeneration. Using retinal pigment epithelial cell lines and retinal tissues from mice, Yu et al. found that internalized photoreceptor outer segments served as a platform for the assembly and activation of mTORC1, a multiprotein complex that regulates metabolic pathways. The authors suggest that this mTORC1 activation process may switch metabolic pathways in the retinal pigment epithelium when degradation of photoreceptor outer segments is initiated.

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