TBC1D3, a hominoid-specific gene, delays IRS-1 degradation and promotes insulin signaling by modulating p70 S6 kinase activity

Marisa J. Wainszelbaum, Jialu Liu, Chen Kong, Priya Srikanth, Dmitri Samovski, Xiong Su, Philip D. Stahl

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29 Scopus citations


Insulin/IGF-1 signaling plays a pivotal role in the regulation of cellular homeostasis through its control of glucose metabolism as well as due to its effects on cell proliferation. Aberrant regulation of insulin signaling has been repeatedly implicated in uncontrolled cell growth and malignant transformations. TBC1D3 is a hominoid specific gene previously identified as an oncogene in breast and prostate cancers. Our efforts to identify the molecular mechanisms of TBC1D3-induced oncogenesis revealed the role of TBC1D3 in insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway. We document here that TBC1D3 intensifies insulin/IGF-1-induced signal transduction through intricate, yet elegant fine-tuning of signaling mechanisms. We show that TBC1D3 expression substantially delayed ubiquitination and degradation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1). This effect is achieved through suppression of serine phosphorylation at S636/639, S307 and S312 of IRS-1, which are key phosphorylation sites required for IRS-1 degradation. Furthermore, we report that the effect of TBC1D3 on IRS-1:S636/639 phosphorylation is mediated through TBC1D3-induced activation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), followed by suppression of T389 phosphorylation on p70 S6 kinase (S6K). TBC1D3 specifically interacts with PP2A regulatory subunit B56γ, indicating that TBC1D3 and PP2A B56γ operate jointly to promote S6K:T389 dephosphorylation. These findings suggest that TBC1D3 plays an unanticipated and potentially unique role in the fine-tuning of insulin/IGF-1 signaling, while providing novel insights into the regulation of tumorigenesis by a hominoid-specific protein.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31225
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2012


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