mTOR pathway is activated by PKA in adrenocortical cells and participates in vivo to apoptosis resistance in primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD).
Primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) is associated with inactivating mutations of the PRKAR1A tumor suppressor gene that encodes the regulatory subunit R1α of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). In human and mouse adrenocortical cells, these mutations lead to increased PKA activity, which results in increased resistance to apoptosis that contributes to the tumorigenic process. We used in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the possibility of a crosstalk between PKA and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways in adrenocortical cells and its possible involvement in apoptosis resistance. Impact of PKA signaling on activation of the mTOR pathway and apoptosis was measured in a mouse model of PPNAD (AdKO mice), in human and mouse adrenocortical cell lines in response to pharmacological inhibitors and in PPNAD tissues by immunohistochemistry. AdKO mice showed increased mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway activity. Inhibition of mTORC1 by rapamycin restored sensitivity of adrenocortical cells to apoptosis in AdKO but not in wild-type mice. In both cell lines and mouse adrenals, rapid phosphorylation of mTORC1 targets including BAD proapoptotic protein was observed in response to PKA activation. Accordingly, BAD hyperphosphorylation, which inhibits its proapoptotic activity, was increased in both AdKO mouse adrenals and human PPNAD tissues. In conclusion, mTORC1 pathway is activated by PKA signaling in human and mouse adrenocortical cells, leading to increased cell survival, which is correlated with BAD hyperphosphorylation. These alterations could be causative of tumor formation.
dans Human molecular genetics , vol. 23 - pp 5418-28