Tuberous sclerosis-2 (TSC2) regulates the stability of death-associated protein kinase-1 (DAPK) through a lysosome-dependent degradation pathway


C. Stevens, University of Edinburgh, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh, EH4 2XR, UK
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Tel: +44 131 651 1025


We previously identified a novel interaction between tuberous sclerosis-2 (TSC2) and death-associated protein kinase-1 (DAPK), the consequence being that DAPK catalyses the inactivating phosphorylation of TSC2 to stimulate mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) activity. We now report that TSC2 binding to DAPK promotes the degradation of DAPK. We show that DAPK protein levels, but not gene expression, inversely correlate with TSC2 expression. Furthermore, altering mTORC1 activity does not affect DAPK levels, excluding indirect effects of TSC2 on DAPK protein levels through changes in mTORC1 translational control. We provide evidence that the C-terminus regulates TSC2 stability and is required for TSC2 to reduce DAPK protein levels. Importantly, using a GTPase-activating protein–dead missense mutation of TSC2, we demonstrate that the effect of TSC2 on DAPK is independent of GTPase-activating protein activity. TSC2 binds to the death domain of DAPK and we show that this interaction is required for TSC2 to reduce DAPK protein levels and half-life. Finally, we show that DAPK is regulated by the lysosome pathway and that lysosome inhibition blocks TSC2-mediated degradation of DAPK. Our study therefore establishes important functions of TSC2 and the lysosomal-degradation pathway in the control of DAPK stability, which taken together with our previous findings, reveal a regulatory loop between DAPK and TSC2 whose balance can either promote: (a) TSC2 inactivation resulting in mTORC1 stimulation, or (b) DAPK degradation via TSC2 signalling under steady-state conditions. The fine balance between DAPK and TSC2 in this regulatory loop may have subtle but important effects on mTORC1 steady-state function.

Structured digital abstract