Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) plays a pivotal role in controlling cell growth and metabolism in response to nutrients and growth factors. The activity of mTORC1 is dually regulated by amino acids and growth factor signaling, and amino acid-dependent mTORC1 activity is regulated by mTORC1 interaction with the Ragulator-Rag GTPase complex, which is localized to the surface of lysosomes via a membrane-anchored protein, p18/Lamtor1. However, the physiological function of p18-Ragulator-dependent mTORC1 signaling remains elusive. The present study evaluated the function of p18-mediated mTORC1 signaling in the intestinal epithelia using p18 conditional knockout mice. In p18 knockout colonic crypts, mTORC1 was delocalized from lysosomes, and in vivo mTORC1 activity was markedly decreased. Histologically, p18 knockout crypts exhibited significantly increased proliferating cells and dramatically decreased mucin-producing goblet cells, while overall crypt architecture and enteroendocrine cell differentiation were unaffected. Furthermore, p18 knockout crypts normally expressed transcription factors implicated in crypt differentiation, such as Cdx2 and Klf4, indicating that p18 ablation did not affect the genetic program of cell differentiation. Analysis of colon crypt organoid cultures revealed that both p18 ablation and rapamycin treatment robustly suppressed development of mucin-producing goblet cells. Hence, p18-mediated mTORC1 signaling could promote the anabolic metabolism required for robust mucin production in goblet cells to protect the intestinal epithelia from various external stressors.
Key words: mTORC1, p18/lamtor1, intestinal epithelium, goblet cells, mucin
Collagen is the most abundant protein in animal tissues and is critical for their proper organization. Nascent procollagens in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are considered too large to be loaded into coat protein complex II (COPII) vesicles, which have a diameter of 60–80 nm, for exit from the ER and transport to the Golgi complex. To study the transport mechanism of procollagen IV, which generates basement membranes, we introduced a cysteine-free GFP tag at the N-terminus of the triple helical region of the α1(IV) chain (cfSGFP2-col4a1), and examined the dynamics of this protein in HT-1080 cells, which produce endogenous collagen IV. cfSGFP2-col4a1 was transported from the ER to the Golgi by vesicles, which were a similar size as small cargo carriers. However, mCherry-ERGIC53 was recruited to α1-antitrypsin-containing vesicles, but not to cfSGFP2-col4a1-containing vesicles. Knockdown analysis revealed that Sar1 and SLY1/SCFD1 were required for transport of cfSGFP2-col4a1. TANGO1, CUL3, and KLHL12 were not necessary for the ER-to-Golgi trafficking of procollagen IV. Our data suggest that procollagen IV is exported from the ER via an enlarged COPII coat carrier and is transported to the Golgi by unique transport vesicles without recruitment of ER-Golgi intermediate compartment membranes.
Key words: collagen, procollagen IV, endoplasmic reticulum, ER-to-Golgi transport, ERGIC