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author:("atkins, Jane")
1.  Torin1-mediated TOR kinase inhibition reduces Wee1 levels and advances mitotic commitment in fission yeast and HeLa cells 
Journal of Cell Science  2014;127(6):1346-1356.
The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase regulates cell growth and division. Rapamycin only inhibits a subset of TOR activities. Here we show that in contrast to the mild impact of rapamycin on cell division, blocking the catalytic site of TOR with the Torin1 inhibitor completely arrests growth without cell death in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A mutation of the Tor2 glycine residue (G2040D) that lies adjacent to the key Torin-interacting tryptophan provides Torin1 resistance, confirming the specificity of Torin1 for TOR. Using this mutation, we show that Torin1 advanced mitotic onset before inducing growth arrest. In contrast to TOR inhibition with rapamycin, regulation by either Wee1 or Cdc25 was sufficient for this Torin1-induced advanced mitosis. Torin1 promoted a Polo and Cdr2 kinase-controlled drop in Wee1 levels. Experiments in human cell lines recapitulated these yeast observations: mammalian TOR (mTOR) was inhibited by Torin1, Wee1 levels declined and mitotic commitment was advanced in HeLa cells. Thus, the regulation of the mitotic inhibitor Wee1 by TOR signalling is a conserved mechanism that helps to couple cell cycle and growth controls.
PMCID: PMC3953821  PMID: 24424027
HeLa; S. pombe; TOR; Torin1; Wee1
2.  TORC2 and the AGC kinase Gad8 regulate phosphorylation of the ribosomal protein S6 in fission yeast 
Biology Open  2012;1(9):884-888.
TOR (Target Of Rapamycin) signalling coordinates cell growth and division in response to changes in the nutritional environment of the cell. TOR kinases form two distinct complexes: TORC1 and TORC2. In mammals, the TORC1 controlled S6K1 kinase phosphorylates the ribosomal protein S6 thereby co-ordinating cell size and nutritional status. We show that the Schizosaccharomyces pombe AGC kinase Gad8 co-immunoprecipitates with the ribosomal protein S6 (Rps6) and regulates its phosphorylation status. It has previously been shown that Gad8 is phosphorylated by TORC2. Consistent with this, we find that TORC2 as well as TORC1 modulates Rps6 phosphorylation. Therefore, S6 phosphorylation in fission yeast actually represents a read-out of the combined activities of TORC1 and TORC2. In contrast, we find that the in vivo phosphorylation status of Maf1 (a repressor of RNA polymerase III) specifically correlates with TORC1 activity.
PMCID: PMC3507231  PMID: 23213482
Gad8; Maf1; S6; S6K; TOR; S. pombe

Results 1-2 (2)