Author(s): Ma L, Chen Z, ErdjumentBromage H, Tempst P, Pandolfi PP
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Abstract Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is a tumor syndrome caused by mutation in TSC1 or TSC2 genes. TSC tumorigenesis is not always accompanied by loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Recently, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) has been found activated in TSC lesions lacking TSC1 or TSC2 LOH. Here, we show that Erk may play a critical role in TSC progression through posttranslational inactivation of TSC2. Erk-dependent phosphorylation leads to TSC1-TSC2 dissociation and markedly impairs TSC2 ability to inhibit mTOR signaling, cell proliferation, and oncogenic transformation. Importantly, expression of an Erk nonphosphorylatable TSC2 mutant in TSC2+/- tumor cells where Erk is constitutively activated blocks tumorigenecity in vivo, while wild-type TSC2 is ineffective. Our findings position the Ras/MAPK pathway upstream of the TSC complex and suggest that Erk may modulate mTOR signaling and contribute to disease progression through phosphorylation and inactivation of TSC2.
This article was published in Cell
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology