Insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of lipin mediated by the mammalian target of rapamycin

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jan 22;99(2):1047-52. doi: 10.1073/pnas.022634399. Epub 2002 Jan 15.


The phosphorylation of a previously uncharacterized protein of apparent M(r) approximately 140,000 was found to be increased when rat adipocytes were incubated with insulin. The sequences of peptides generated by digesting the protein with trypsin matched perfectly with sequences in mouse lipin. Lipin is the product of the gene that is mutated in fatty liver dystrophy (fld) mice [Peterfy, M., Phan, J., Xu, P. & Reue, K (2001) Nat. Genet. 27, 121-124], which exhibit several phenotypic abnormalities including hyperlipidemia, defects in adipocyte differentiation, impaired glucose tolerance, and slow growth. When immunoblots were prepared with lipin antibodies, both endogenous adipocyte lipin and recombinant lipin overexpressed in HEK293 cells appeared as bands ranging in apparent M(r) from 120,000 to 140,000. Incubating adipocytes with insulin decreased the electrophoretic mobility and stimulated the phosphorylation of both Ser and Thr residues in lipin. The effects of insulin were abolished by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase, and by rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamcyin (mTOR). The inhibition by rapamycin was blocked by FK506, which competitively inhibits those effects of rapamycin that are mediated by inhibition of mTOR. Moreover, amino acids, which activate mTOR, mimicked insulin by increasing lipin phosphorylation in a rapamycin-sensitive manner. Thus, lipin represents a target of the mTOR pathway, and potentially links this nutrient-sensing pathway to adipocyte development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidate Phosphatase
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases


  • Insulin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • mTOR protein, mouse
  • mTOR protein, rat
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • LPIN1 protein, human
  • Lpin1 protein, mouse
  • Phosphatidate Phosphatase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF412811