Research Summary: Receptor-Recognized α2-Macroglobulin Binds to Cell Surface-Associated GRP78 and Activates mTORC1 and mTORC2 Signaling in Prostate Cancer Cells

ABSTRACT

Objective

Tetrameric α2-macroglobulin (α2M), a plasma panproteinase inhibitor, is activated upon interaction with a proteinase, and undergoes a major conformational change exposing a receptor recognition site in each of its subunits. Activated α2M (α2M*) binds to cancer cell surface GRP78 and triggers proliferative and antiapoptotic signaling. We have studied the role of α2M* in the regulation of mTORC1 and TORC2 signaling in the growth of human prostate cancer cells.


Methods

Employing immunoprecipitation techniques and Western blotting as well as kinase assays, activation of the mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes, as well as down stream targets were studied. RNAi was also employed to silence expression of Raptor, Rictor, or GRP78 in parallel studies.


Results

Stimulation of cells with α2M* promotes phosphorylation of mTOR, TSC2, S6-Kinase, 4EBP, AktT308, and AktS473 in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Rheb, Raptor, and Rictor also increased. α2M* treatment of cells elevated mTORC1 kinase activity as determined by kinase assays of mTOR or Raptor immunoprecipitates. mTORC1 activity was sensitive to LY294002 and rapamycin or transfection of cells with GRP78 dsRNA. Down regulation of Raptor expression by RNAi significantly reduced α2M*-induced S6-Kinase phosphorylation at T389 and kinase activity in Raptor immunoprecipitates. α2M*-treated cells demonstrate about a twofold increase in mTORC2 kinase activity as determined by kinase assay of AktS473 phosphorylation and levels of p-AktS473 in mTOR and Rictor immunoprecipitates. mTORC2 activity was sensitive to LY294002 and transfection of cells with GRP78 dsRNA, but insensitive to rapamycin. Down regulation of Rictor expression by RNAi significantly reduces α2M*-induced phosphorylation of AktS473 phosphorylation in Rictor immunoprecipitates.


Conclusion

Binding of α2M* to prostate cancer cell surface GRP78 upregulates mTORC1 and mTORC2 activation and promotes protein synthesis in the prostate cancer cells.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 14-December-2012

Author(s): Misra U., Pizzo S.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051735

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