Convergence of signaling pathways in mediating actions of leucine and IGF-1 on mTORC1 in L6 myoblasts

Paul A. Roberson, Leonard S. Jefferson, Scot R. Kimball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Leucine and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are important regulators of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is of particular importance in their mechanism of action. In the present study, pathways through which leucine and IGF-1 converge to mediate activation of mTORC1 were examined in L6 myoblasts that were deprived of leucine and serum followed by readdition of either leucine or IGF-1. Compared with leucine-and serum-deprived myoblasts, IGF-1, but not leucine, promoted phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT), tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2), and the autophosphorylation site on mTOR (S2481) and also stimulated mTOR kinase activity in mTOR immunoprecipitated samples. Both leucine and IGF-1 promoted phosphorylation of mTOR on S2448. The association of mTOR with the regulatory-Associated protein of mTOR (Raptor) was altered by IGF-1 treatment and trended (P = 0.065) to be altered by leucine treatment. Alterations in the association of mTOR with Raptor were proportional to changes in phosphorylation of the mTOR substrates, eIF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), and ribosomal protein S6 Kinase-b1 (p70S6K1). Surprisingly, leucine, but not IGF-1, stimulated protein synthesis suggesting a unique role for nutrients in regulating protein synthesis. Overall, the results are consistent with a model whereby IGF-1 stimulates phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and p70S6K1 in L6 myoblasts through an AKT-TSC2-mTORC1 signaling pathway that also involves changes in the interaction between mTOR and Raptor. In contrast, leucine signaling to mTOR results in alterations in certain mTOR phosphorylation sites and the interaction between mTOR and Raptor and stimulates protein synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C804-C812
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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