Aberrant Rheb-mediated mTORC1 activation and Pten haploinsufficiency are cooperative oncogenic events
Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) represents a critical signaling crossroad where pathways commonly disrupted in cancer converge. We report here that Rheb GTPase, the upstream activator of the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is amplified in human prostate cancers. We demonstrate that Rheb overexpression promotes hyperplasia and a low-grade neoplastic phenotype in the mouse prostate while eliciting a concomitant senescence response and a negative feedback loop limiting Akt activation. Importantly, we show that Pten haploinsufficiency cooperates with Rheb overexpression to markedly promote prostate tumorigenesis. We conclude that Rheb acts as a proto-oncogene in the appropriate genetic milieu and signaling context.