mTORC2 suppresses cell death induced by hypo-osmotic stress by promoting sphingomyelin transport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Epithelial cells are constantly exposed to osmotic stress. The influx of water molecules into the cell in a hypo-osmotic environment increases plasma membrane tension as it rapidly expands. Therefore, the plasma membrane must be supplied with membrane lipids since expansion beyond its elastic limit will cause the cell to rupture. However, the molecular mechanism to maintain a constant plasma membrane tension is not known. In this study, we found that the apical membrane selectively expands when epithelial cells are exposed to hypo-osmotic stress. This requires the activation of mTORC2, which enhances the transport of secretory vesicles containing sphingomyelin, the major lipid of the apical membrane. We further show that the mTORC2-Rab35 axis plays an essential role in the defense against hypotonic stress by promoting the degradation of the actin cortex through the up-regulation of PI(4,5)P2 metabolism, which facilitates the apical tethering of sphingomyelin-loaded vesicles to relieve plasma membrane tension.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of cell biology
Volume221
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 4 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology

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