mTORC1 senses stresses: Coupling stress to proteostasis.
Beyond protein synthesis and autophagy, emerging evidence has implicated mTORC1 in regulating protein folding and proteasomal degradation as well, highlighting its prominent role in cellular proteome homeostasis or proteostasis. In addition to growth signals, mTORC1 senses and responds to a wide array of stresses, including energetic/metabolic stress, genotoxic stress, oxidative stress, osmotic stress, ER stress, proteotoxic stress, and psychological stress. Whereas growth signals unanimously stimulate mTORC1, stresses exert complex impacts on mTORC1, most of which are repressive. mTORC1 suppression, as a generic adaptive strategy, empowers cell survival under various stressful conditions. In this essay, we provide an overview of the emerging role of mTORC1 in proteostasis, the distinct molecular mechanisms through which mTORC1 reacts to diverse stresses, and the schemes exploited by cancer cells to circumvent stress-induced mTORC1 suppression. Hence, acting as a stress sensor, mTORC1 intimately couples stresses to cellular proteostasis.