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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1866;

REP1 Modulates Autophagy and Macropinocytosis to Enhance Cancer Cell Survival

Tumor Microenvironment Research Branch, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, 323 Ilsan-ro, Ilsandong-gu,10 Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10408, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy at the Intersection of the Immune System and Cancer)
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Rab escort protein 1 (REP1), a component of the Rab geranyl-geranyltransferase 2 complex, plays a role in Rab protein recruitment in proper vesicles during vesicle trafficking. In addition to having well-known tissue degenerative phenotypes in the REP1 mutant, REP1 is tightly associated with cancer development and contributes to cell growth and survival. However, the functional mechanism of REP1 in cancer progression is largely uninvestigated. Here, we show that REP1 plays a crucial role in regulating mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and its downstream pathways, as well as autophagy and macropinocytosis, which are essential for cancer cell survival during metabolic stresses including starvation. REP1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment downregulates mTORC1 activity in growing media, but blocks autophagosome formation under nutrient-depleted conditions. In contrast to the mild decrease of lysosomal enzyme activity seen in REP1 depletion, in REP1 knockdown the subcellular localization of lysosomes is altered, and localization of REP1 itself is modulated by intracellular nutrient levels and mTOR activity. Furthermore, REP1 depletion increases macro pinocytosis which may be a feedback mechanism to compensate autophagy inhibition. Concomitant treatment with macropinocytosis inhibitor and REP1siRNAresults in more significant cell death than autophagy blockade with REP1 knockdown. Therefore, REP1-mediated autophagy and lysosomal degradation processes act as novel regulatory mechanisms to support cancer cell survival, which can be further investigated as a potential cancer-targeting pathway. View Full-Text
Keywords: rab escort protein 1 (REP1); lysosome; autophagy; macropinocytosis; mTORC1 rab escort protein 1 (REP1); lysosome; autophagy; macropinocytosis; mTORC1

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Choi, J.; Kim, H.; Bae, Y.K.; Cheong, H. REP1 Modulates Autophagy and Macropinocytosis to Enhance Cancer Cell Survival. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1866.

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