at the CNIC

Tag: mTOR (Page 1 of 2)

MKK6 deficiency promotes cardiac dysfunction through MKK3-p38γ/δ-mTOR hyperactivation

Rafael Romero-Becerra, Alfonso Mora, Elisa Manieri, Ivana Nikolic, Ayelén Melina Santamans, Valle Montalvo-Romeral, Francisco Miguel Cruz, Elena Rodríguez, Marta León, Luis Leiva-Vega, Laura Sanz, Víctor Bondía, David Filgueiras-Rama, Luis Jesús Jiménez-Borreguero, José Jalife, Barbara Gonzalez-Teran & Guadalupe Sabio.

Stress-activated p38 kinases control a plethora of functions, and their dysregulation has been linked to the development of steatosis, obesity, immune disorders, and cancer. Therefore, they have been identified as potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies. There are four p38 family members (p38α, p38β, p38γ, and p38δ) that are activated by MKK3 and MKK6.

Cardiac hypertrophy under the microscope.
Cardiac hypertrophy in a heart lacking MKK6 (Image: Bárbara González-Terán).

Here, we demonstrate that lack of MKK6 reduces the lifespan in mice. Longitudinal study of cardiac function in MKK6 KO mice showed that young mice develop cardiac hypertrophy which progresses to cardiac dilatation and fibrosis with age. Mechanistically, lack of MKK6 blunts p38α activation while causing MKK3-p38γ/δ hyperphosphorylation and increased mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, resulting in cardiac hypertrophy. Cardiac hypertrophy in MKK6 KO mice is reverted by knocking out either p38γ or p38δ or by inhibiting the mTOR pathway with rapamycin.

In conclusion, we have identified a key role for the MKK3/6-p38γ/δ pathway in the development of cardiac hypertrophy, which has important implications for the clinical use of p38α inhibitors in the long-term treatment since they might result in cardiotoxicity.

Protocol for the assessment of mTOR activity in mouse primary hepatocytes

Ana Belén Plata-Gómez, María Crespo, Celia de la Calle Arregui, Lucía de Prado-Rivas, Guadalupe Sabio, Alejo Efeyan.

We present a protocol for measuring the activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in ex vivo isolated mouse primary hepatocytes. It can be used as a tool for genetic, pharmacological, metabolomic, and signal transduction procedures.

We discuss critical aspects for improving yield, viability, and modulation of the mTOR pathway. This protocol can be adapted to other signaling cascades and is compatible with multiple readouts.

Limited survival and impaired hepatic fasting metabolism in mice with constitutive Rag GTPase signaling

Celia de la Calle Arregui, Ana Belén Plata-Gómez, Nerea Deleyto-Seldas, Fernando García, Ana Ortega-Molina, Julio Abril-Garrido, Elena Rodriguez, Ivan Nemazanyy, Laura Tribouillard, Alba de Martino, Eduardo Caleiras, Ramón Campos-Olivas, Francisca Mulero, Mathieu Laplante, Javier Muñoz, Mario Pende, Guadalupe Sabio, David M. Sabatini & Alejo Efeyan.

The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates cellular nutrient signaling and hormonal cues to control metabolism. We have previously shown that constitutive nutrient signaling to mTORC1 by means of genetic activation of RagA (expression of GTP-locked RagA, or RagAGTP) in mice resulted in a fatal energetic crisis at birth.

mTORC1 in adaptation to fasting.
mTORC1 in adaptation to fasting.

Herein, we rescue neonatal lethality in RagAGTP mice and find morphometric and metabolic alterations that span glucose, lipid, ketone, bile acid and amino acid homeostasis in adults, and a median lifespan of nine months. Proteomic and metabolomic analyses of livers from RagAGTP mice reveal a failed metabolic adaptation to fasting due to a global impairment in PPARα transcriptional program. These metabolic defects are partially recapitulated by restricting activation of RagA to hepatocytes, and revert by pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1. Constitutive hepatic nutrient signaling does not cause hepatocellular damage and carcinomas, unlike genetic activation of growth factor signaling upstream of mTORC1.

In summary, RagA signaling dictates dynamic responses to feeding-fasting cycles to tune metabolism so as to match the nutritional state.

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