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Rheb Activates mTOR by Antagonizing Its Endogenous Inhibitor, FKBP38

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Science  09 Nov 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5852, pp. 977-980
DOI: 10.1126/science.1147379

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Abstract

The mammalian target of rapamycin, mTOR, is a central regulator of cell growth. Its activity is regulated by Rheb, a Ras-like small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase), in response to growth factor stimulation and nutrient availability. We show that Rheb regulates mTOR through FKBP38, a member of the FK506-binding protein (FKBP) family that is structurally related to FKBP12. FKBP38 binds to mTOR and inhibits its activity in a manner similar to that of the FKBP12-rapamycin complex. Rheb interacts directly with FKBP38 and prevents its association with mTOR in a guanosine 5′-triphosphate (GTP)–dependent manner. Our findings suggest that FKBP38 is an endogenous inhibitor of mTOR, whose inhibitory activity is antagonized by Rheb in response to growth factor stimulation and nutrient availability.

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