Glucose-dependent control of leucine metabolism by leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1

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Science  10 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6474, pp. 205-210
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau2753

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A tRNA synthase in metabolic control

Leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (LARS1), which covalently couples leucine to its cognate transfer RNAs (tRNAs), appears to have broader roles in the control of leucine metabolism. The enzyme also serves as a leucine sensor for the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), which regulates protein synthesis, metabolism, autophagy, and cell growth. Yoon et al. show that in cells deprived of glucose, LARS1 is phosphorylated by Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (see the Perspective by Lehman and Abraham). This phosphorylation decreases leucine binding to LARS1 and, in turn, should decrease translation, reduce activation of mTORC1, and perhaps free up leucine for use in the generation of adenosine triphosphate in glucose-starved cells.

Science, this issue p. 205; see also p. 146

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