The TOR (target of rapamycin) proteins play important roles in nutrient signaling in eukaryotic cells. Rapamycin treatment induces a state reminiscent of the nutrient starvation response, often resulting in growth inhibition. Using a chemical genetic modifier screen, we identified two classes of small molecules, small-molecule inhibitors of rapamycin (SMIRs) and small-molecule enhancers of rapamycin (SMERs), that suppress and augment respectively, rapamycin's effect in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Probing proteome chips with biotinylated SMIRs revealed putative intracellular target proteins, including Tep1p, a homolog of the mammalian PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10) tumor suppressor, and Ybr077cp (Nir1p), a protein of previously unknown function that we show to be a component of the TOR signaling network. Both SMIR target proteins are associated with PI(3,4)P 2, suggesting a mechanism of regulation of the TOR pathway involving phosphatidylinositides. Our results illustrate the combined use of chemical genetics and proteomics in biological discovery and map a path for creating useful therapeutics for treating human diseases involving the TOR pathway, such as diabetes and cancer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 23 2004|
- Drug discovery
- Drug target identification
ASJC Scopus subject areas