The Journal of biological chemistry (7/22/2011)
Phospholipase D mediates nutrient input to mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a critical sensor of nutritional sufficiency. Although much is known about the regulation of mTOR in response to growth factors, much less is known about the regulation of mTOR in response to nutrients. Amino acids have no impact on the signals that regulate Rheb, a GTPase required for the activation of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1). Phospholipase D (PLD) generates a metabolite, phosphatidic acid, that facilitates association between mTOR and the mTORC1 co-factor Raptor. We report here that elevated PLD activity in human cancer cells is dependent on both amino acids and glucose and that amino acid- and glucose-induced increases in mTORC1 activity are dependent on PLD. Amino acid- and glucose-induced PLD and mTORC1 activity were also dependent on the GTPases RalA and ARF6 and the type III phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase hVps34. Thus, a key stimulatory event for mTORC1 activation in response to nutrients is the generation of phosphatidic acid by PLD.