Rheb binds CAD in a GTP- and effector domain dependent manner and influences its cellular localization and CPSase activity [Cell Biology]

November 24th, 2014 by Sato, T., Akasu, H., Shimono, W., Matsu, C., Fujiwara, Y., Shibagaki, Y., Heard, J. J., Tamanoi, F., Hattori, S.

Rheb small GTPases, which consist of Rheb1 and Rheb2 (also known as RhebL1) in mammalian cells, are unique members of the Ras superfamily and play central roles in regulating protein synthesis and cell growth by activating mTOR. To gain further insight into the function of Rheb, we carried out a search for Rheb binding proteins and found that Rheb binds to CAD protein (carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase 2, aspartate transcarbamoylase, and dihydroorotase), a multifunctional enzyme required for the de novo synthesis of pyrimidine nucleotides. CAD binding is more pronounced with Rheb2 than with Rheb1. Rheb binds CAD in a GTP- and effector domain-dependent manner. The region of CAD where Rheb binds is located at the C-terminal region of the CPSase (carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase) domain and not in the DHOase (dihydroorotase) and ATCase (aspartate transcarbamoylase) domains. Rheb stimulated CPSase activity of CAD in vitro. In addition, elevated level of intracellular UTP pyrimidine nucleotide was observed in Tsc2-deficient cells, which was attenuated by knocking down of Rheb. Immunostaining analysis showed that expression of Rheb leads to increased accumulation of CAD on lysosomes. Both a farnesyltransferase inhibitor that blocks membrane association of Rheb and knockdown of Rheb mislocalized CAD. These results establish CAD as a downstream effector of Rheb and suggest a possible role of Rheb in regulating de novo pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis.