Abstract

mTORC1 is a signal integrator and master regulator of cellular anabolic processes linked to cell growth and survival. Here, we demonstrate that mTORC1 promotes lipid biogenesis via SRPK2, a key regulator of RNA-binding SR proteins. mTORC1-activated S6K1 phosphorylates SRPK2 at Ser494, which primes Ser497 phosphorylation by CK1. These phosphorylation events promote SRPK2 nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of SR proteins. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis reveals that lipid biosynthetic enzymes are among the downstream targets of mTORC1-SRPK2 signaling. Mechanistically, SRPK2 promotes SR protein binding to U1-70K to induce splicing of lipogenic pre-mRNAs. Inhibition of this signaling pathway leads to intron retention of lipogenic genes, which triggers nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of SRPK2 blunts de novo lipid synthesis, thereby suppressing cell growth. These results thus reveal a novel role of mTORC1-SRPK2 signaling in post-transcriptional regulation of lipid metabolism and demonstrate that SRPK2 is a potential therapeutic target for mTORC1-driven metabolic disorders.

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