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REVIEW: Amino Acids as Regulators of Cell Metabolism

S. V. Nesterov1,2, L. S. Yaguzhinsky1,3,a*, G. I. Podoprigora1, and Ya. R. Nartsissov1

1Institute of Cytochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, 115404 Moscow, Russia

2Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 141701 Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region, Russia

3Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received October 3, 2019; Revised February 10, 2020; Accepted February 11, 2020
In this review, we discuss the principles of regulation and synchronization of metabolic processes in mammalian cells using a two-component model of cell metabolism consisting of a controlling signaling system that regulates major enzymatic cascades and executive metabolic system that directly performs biosynthetic reactions. This approach has allowed us to distinguish two transitional metabolic states (from catabolism to anabolism and vice versa) accompanied by major rearrangements in the signaling system. The signaling system of natural amino acids was selected, because amino acids are involved in both signaling and executive metabolic subsystems of general cell metabolism. We have developed a graphical representation of metabolic events that allowed us to demonstrate the succession of processes occurring in both metabolic subsystems during complete metabolic cycle in a non-dividing cell. An important revealed feature of the amino acid signaling system is that the signaling properties of amino acid are determined not only by their molecular structure, but also by the location within the cell. Four major signaling groups of amino acids have been identified that localize to lysosomes, mitochondria, cytosol, and extracellular space adjacent to the plasma membrane. Although these amino acids groups are similar in the composition, they have different receptors. We also proposed a scheme for the metabolism regulation by amino acids signaling that can serve as a basis for developing more complete spatio-temporal picture of metabolic regulation involving a wide variety of intracellular signaling cascades.
KEY WORDS: amino acids, intracellular signaling, mTORC1, AMPK, lysosome, catabolism, anabolism

DOI: 10.1134/S000629792004001X