Conserved and Divergent Mechanisms That Control TORC1 in Yeasts and Mammals

Genes (Basel). 2021 Jan 12;12(1):88. doi: 10.3390/genes12010088.


Target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1), a serine/threonine-protein kinase complex highly conserved among eukaryotes, coordinates cellular growth and metabolism with environmental cues, including nutrients and growth factors. Aberrant TORC1 signaling is associated with cancers and various human diseases, and TORC1 also plays a key role in ageing and lifespan, urging current active research on the mechanisms of TORC1 regulation in a variety of model organisms. Identification and characterization of the RAG small GTPases as well as their regulators, many of which are highly conserved from yeast to humans, led to a series of breakthroughs in understanding the molecular bases of TORC1 regulation. Recruitment of mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1) by RAGs to lysosomal membranes is a key step for mTORC1 activation. Interestingly, the RAG GTPases in fission yeast are primarily responsible for attenuation of TORC1 activity on vacuoles, the yeast equivalent of lysosomes. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge about the functions of TORC1 regulators on yeast vacuoles, and illustrate the conserved and divergent mechanisms of TORC1 regulation between yeasts and mammals.

Keywords: GTPase; TOR complex 1 (TORC1); target of rapamycin (TOR); yeast.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / genetics
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 / genetics
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Vacuoles / genetics
  • Vacuoles / metabolism*


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • TORC1 protein complex, S cerevisiae
  • Transcription Factors
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1