Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), is used in treatments for transplantation and cancer. Rapamycin causes hypomagnesemia, although precisely how has not been examined. Here, we investigated the effect of rapamycin on the expression of transient receptor potential melastatin 6 (TRPM6), a Mg2+ channel. Rapamycin and LY-294002, an inhibitor of phosphatidilinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) located upstream of mTOR, inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced expression of the TRPM6 protein without affecting TRPM7 expression in rat renal NRK-52E epithelial cells. Both rapamycin and LY-294002 decreased EGF-induced Mg2+ influx. U0126, a MEK inhibitor, inhibited EGF-induced increases in c-Fos, p-ERK, and TRPM6 levels. In contrast, neither rapamycin nor LY-294002 inhibited EGF-induced increases in p-ERK and c-Fos levels. EGF increased p-Akt level, an effect inhibited by LY-294002 and 1L-6-hydroxymethyl-chiro-inositol2-[(R)-2-O-methyl-3-O-octadecylcarbonate] (Akt inhibitor). Akt inhibitor decreased TRPM6 level similar to rapamycin and LY-294002. These results suggest that a PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is involved in the regulation of TRPM6 expression. Rapamycin inhibited the EGF-induced increase in TRPM6 mRNA but did not inhibit human TRPM6 promoter activity. In the presence of actinomycin D, a transcriptional inhibitor, rapamycin accelerated the decrease in TRPM6 mRNA. Rapamycin decreased the expression and activity of a luciferase linked with the 3'-untranslated region of human TRPM6 mRNA. These results suggest that TRPM6 expression is up-regulated by a PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and rapamycin reduces TRPM6 mRNA stability, resulting in a decrease in the reabsorption of Mg2+.
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