MTORC1-Regulated Metabolism Controlled by TSC2 Limits Cardiac Reperfusion Injury

Christian U Oeing, Seungho Jun, Sumita Mishra, Brittany Dunkerly-Eyring, Anna Chen, Maria I Grajeda, Usman Tahir, Robert E Gerszten, Nazareno Paolocci, Mark J Ranek, David A Kass
Circulation Research2021
Rationale: The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1 (mTORC1) controls metabolism and protein homeostasis, and is activated following ischemic reperfusion (IR) injury and by ischemic preconditioning (IPC). However, studies vary as to whether this activation is beneficial or detrimental, and its influence on metabolism after IR is little studied. A limitation of prior investigations is their use of broad gain/loss of mTORC1 function, mostly applied prior to ischemic stress. This can be circumvented by regulating one serine (S1365) on tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC2) to achieve bi-directional mTORC1 modulation but only with TCS2-regulated co-stimulation. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that reduced TSC2 S1365 phosphorylation protects the myocardium against IR and IPC by amplifying mTORC1 activity to favor glycolytic metabolism. Methods and Results: Mice with either S1365A (TSC2 SA ; phospho-null) or S1365E (TSC2 SE ; phosphomimetic) knock-in mutations were studied ex vivo and in vivo. In response to IR, hearts from TSC2 SA mice had amplified mTORC1 activation and improved heart function compared to WT and TSC2 SE hearts. The magnitude of protection matched IPC. IPC requited less S1365 phosphorylation, as TSC2 SE hearts gained no benefit and failed to activate mTORC1 with IPC. IR metabolism was altered in TSC2 SA , with increased mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate and glycolytic capacity (stressed/maximal extracellular acidification) after myocyte hypoxia-reperfusion. In whole heart, lactate increased and long-chain acyl-carnitine levels declined during ischemia. The relative IR protection in TSC2 SA was lost by lowering glucose in the perfusate by 36%. Adding fatty acid (palmitate) compensated for reduced glucose in WT and TSC2 SE but not TSC2 SA which had the worst post-IR function under these conditions. Conclusions: TSC2-S1365 phosphorylation status regulates myocardial substrate utilization, and its decline activates mTORC1 biasing metabolism away from fatty acid oxidation to glycolysis to confer protection against IR. This pathway is also engaged and reduced TSC2 S1365 phosphorylation required for effective IPC.

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