Several types of cellular stress induce expression of growth arrest and DNA damage protein 34 (Gadd34). Autophagy occurs under both basal conditions and conditions of stress, such as starvation. Gadd34 and autophagy are both induced under starvation conditions. In this study we found that starvation induced the expression of Gadd34, reduced mTOR activity, and induced autophagy in wild type mice, but not Gadd34 KO mice. Gadd34 bound to and dephosphorylated pTSC2 at Thr1462. Dephosphorylation of TSC2 during the starvation time period leads to the suppression of mTOR, which is a potent inhibitor of autophagy. We concluded that starvation-induced Gadd34 suppresses mTOR and, thereby, induces autophagy.
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