Cell-type-dependent regulation of mTORC1 by REDD1 and the tumor suppressors TSC1/TSC2 and LKB1 in response to hypoxia

Nicholas C. Wolff, Silvia Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, Xian Jin Xie, Diego H. Castrillon, Wareef Kabbani, James Brugarolas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


mTORC1 is a critical regulator of cell growth that integrates multiple signals and is deregulated in cancer. We previously reported that mTORC1 regulation by hypoxia involves Redd1 and the Tsc1/Tsc2 complex. Here we show that Redd1 induction by hypoxia is tissue dependent and that hypoxia signals are relayed to mTORC1 through different pathways in a tissue-specific manner. In the liver, Redd1 induction is restricted to the centrilobular area, and in primary hepatocytes, mTORC1 inhibition by hypoxia is independent of Redd1. Furthermore, Tsc1/Tsc2 and Arnt (Hif-1β) are similarly dispensable. Hypoxia signaling in hepatocytes involves Lkb1, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and raptor. Differences in signal relay extend beyond hypoxia and involve AMPK signaling. AMPK activation (using 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide riboside [AICAR]) induces raptor phosphorylation and inhibits mTORC1 in both mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) and hepatocytes, but whereas mTORC1 inhibition is Tsc1/Tsc2 dependent in MEFs, it is independent in hepatocytes. In liver cells, raptor phosphorylation is essential for both AMPK and hypoxia signaling. Thus, context-specific signals are required for raptor phosphorylation-induced mTORC1 inhibition. Our data illustrate a heretofore unappreciated topological complexity in mTORC1 regulation. Interestingly, topological differences in mTORC1 regulation by the tumor suppressor proteins Lkb1 and Tsc1/Tsc2 may underlie their tissue specificity of tumor suppressor action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1870-1884
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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