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

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Science  28 Nov 2019:
eaau2753
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau2753

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Abstract

Despite the importance of glucose and amino acids for energy metabolism, interactions between the two nutrients are not well understood. We provide evidence for a role of leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (LARS1) in glucose-dependent control of leucine usage. Upon glucose starvation, LARS1 was phosphorylated by Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1) at the residues crucial for leucine-binding. The phosphorylated LARS1 showed decreased leucine-binding, which may inhibit protein synthesis and help save energy. Leucine, not used to anabolic process, may be available to catabolic pathway for energy generation. The LARS1-mediated changes in leucine utilization might help support cell survival deprived of glucose. Thus, dependent on the availability of glucose, LARS1 may help regulate whether leucine is used for protein synthesis or energy production.

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