TRIM7, a Novel Binding Protein of the mTORC2 Component Sin1

  • Sulaiman Marafie

    Student thesis: Unknown


    TRIM7 is a member of the TRIM (tripartite motif-containing) protein superfamily. This family has been implicated in many disorders such as genetic diseases, neurological diseases, and cancers. Little is known about the function of TRIM7 except that it interacts with glycogenin and may regulate glycogen biosynthesis. Recently, a yeast two-hybrid protein-protein interaction screen revealed the binding of TRIM7 to Sin1, a protein found in a complex with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein kinase. mTOR can form two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, which are important for cell growth, differentiation, and survival. Sin1 is a core component of mTORC2 and is critical for mTORC2 stability and activity. It was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation that TRIM7 associates with Sin1 and mTOR in cultured mammalian cells. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that TRIM7 is a phosphoprotein, although it was not directly targeted by mTOR in vitro. Similar to some other TRIM family proteins, it was demonstrated that TRIM7 has a ubiquitin E3 ligase function allowing it to autoubiquitinate both in vitro and in cells. The autoubiquitination of TRIM7 was dependent on its RING domain. Further characterization of TRIM7 indicated that it can both homo-oligomerise as well as hetero-oligomerise with other members of its sub-class of TRIM proteins and that it co-localises with them into discrete cytoplasmic loci. To determine the cellular function of TRIM7, a stable cell line expressing an shRNA directed against TRIM7 was generated. Successful knock down of TRIM7 was achieved and this led to an increase in the protein levels of components of the mTORC2 complex, including Sin1. This coincided with an increase in cell proliferation. In conclusion, this research identifies a novel role for TRIM7 as a ubiquitin ligase involved in regulating cell proliferation and provides a potential link between TRIM7 and the mTOR pathway, a major transducer of proliferative and cell survival signals.
    Date of Award31 Dec 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorAlan Whitmarsh (Supervisor) & Andrew Sharrocks (Supervisor)


    • Proliferation
    • Ubiquitin
    • Cancer
    • Ligase
    • Sin1
    • mTOR
    • TRIM7
    • mTORC2

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