PRAS40 acts as a nodal regulator of high glucose-induced TORC1 activation in glomerular mesangial cell hypertrophy

J Cell Physiol. 2010 Oct;225(1):27-41. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22186.


Diabetic nephropathy manifests aberrant activation of TORC1, which senses key signals to modulate protein synthesis and renal hypertrophy. PRAS40 has recently been identified as a raptor-interacting protein and is a component and a constitutive inhibitor of TORC1. The mechanism by which high glucose stimulates TORC1 activity is not known. PRAS40 was identified in the mesangial cells in renal glomeruli and in tubulointerstitium of rat kidney. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic renal hypertrophy was associated with phosphorylation of PRAS40 in the cortex and glomeruli. In vitro, high glucose concentration increased PRAS40 phosphorylation in a PI 3 kinase- and Akt-dependent manner, resulting in dissociation of raptor-PRAS40 complex in mesangial cells. High glucose augmented the inactivating and activating phosphorylation of 4EBP-1 and S6 kinase, respectively, with concomitant induction of protein synthesis and hypertrophy. Expression of TORC1-nonphosphorylatable mutant of 4EBP-1 and dominant-negative S6 kinase significantly inhibited high glucose-induced protein synthesis and hypertrophy. PRAS40 knockdown mimicked the effect of high glucose on phosphorylation of 4EBP-1 and S6 kinase, protein synthesis, and hypertrophy. To elucidate the role of PRAS40 phosphorylation, we used phosphorylation-deficient mutant of PRAS40, which in contrast to PRAS40 knockdown inhibited phosphorylation of 4EBP-1 and S6 kinase, leading to reduced mesangial cell hypertrophy. Thus, our data identify high glucose-induced phosphorylation and inactivation of PRAS40 as a central node for mesangial cell hypertrophy in diabetic nephropathy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Mesangial Cells / cytology
  • Mesangial Cells / metabolism*
  • Mesangial Cells / pathology*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases / genetics
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Akt1s1 protein, rat
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Eif4ebp1 protein, rat
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases
  • Glucose