Diphthamide promotes TOR signaling by increasing the translation of proteins in the TORC1 pathway.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Yugang ZhangHening Lin


Diphthamide, a modification found only on translation elongation factor 2 (EF2), was proposed to suppress -1 frameshifting in translation. Although diphthamide is conserved among all eukaryotes, exactly what proteins are affected by diphthamide deletion is not clear in cells. Through genome-wide profiling for a potential -1 frameshifting site, we identified that the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1)/mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway is affected by deletion of diphthamide. Diphthamide deficiency in yeast suppresses the translation of TORC1-activating proteins Vam6 and Rtc1. Interestingly, TORC1 signaling also promotes diphthamide biosynthesis, suggesting that diphthamide forms a positive feedback loop to promote translation under nutrient-rich conditions. Our results provide an explanation for why diphthamide is evolutionarily conserved and why diphthamide deletion can cause severe developmental defects.


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