Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a common genetic disease characterized by bilateral renal cyst formation. Both hyperproliferation and hypertrophy have been previously observed in ADPKD kidneys. Polycystin-1 (PC-1), a large orphan receptor encoded by the PKD1 gene and mutated in 85% of all cases, is able to inhibit proliferation and apoptosis. Here we show that overexpression of PC-1 in renal epithelial cells inhibits cell growth (size) in a cell cycle-independent manner due to the downregulation of mTOR, S6K1, and 4EBP1. Upregulation of the same pathway leads to increased cell size, as found in mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from Pkd1−/− mice. We show that PC-1 controls the mTOR pathway in a Tsc2-dependent manner, by inhibiting the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated phosphorylation of tuberin in Ser664. We provide a detailed molecular mechanism by which PC-1 can inhibit the mTOR pathway and regulate cell size
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