Amino acid availability activates signaling by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1, mTORC1, a master regulator of cell growth. The class III PI-3-kinase Vps34 mediates amino acid signaling to mTORC1 by regulating lysosomal translocation and activation of the phospholipase PLD1. Here, we identify leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LRS) as a leucine sensor for the activation of Vps34-PLD1 upstream of mTORC1. LRS is necessary for amino acid-induced Vps34 activation, cellular PI(3)P level increase, PLD1 activation, and PLD1 lysosomal translocation. Leucine binding, but not tRNA charging activity of LRS, is required for this regulation. Moreover, LRS physically interacts with Vps34 in amino acid-stimulatable non-autophagic complexes. Finally, purified LRS protein activates Vps34 kinase in vitro in a leucine-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings provide compelling evidence for a direct role of LRS in amino acid activation of Vps34 via a non-canonical mechanism and fill a gap in the amino acid-sensing mTORC1 signaling network.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology