The intestinal mucosa undergoes a continual process of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis that is regulated by multiple signaling pathways. Previously, we have shown that the nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 (NFAT5) is involved in the regulation of intestinal enterocyte differentiation. Here we show that treatment with sodium chloride (NaCl), which activates NFAT5 signaling, increased mTORC1 repressor regulated in development and DNA damage response 1 (REDD1) protein expression and inhibited mTOR signaling; these alterations were attenuated by knockdown of NFAT5. Knockdown of NFAT5 activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and significantly inhibited REDD1 mRNA expression and protein expression. Consistently, overexpression of NFAT5 increased REDD1 expression. In addition, knockdown of REDD1 activated mTOR and Notch signaling, whereas treatment with mTOR inhibitor rapamycin repressed Notch signaling and increased the expression of the goblet cell differentiation marker mucin 2 (MUC2). Moreover, knockdown of NFAT5 activated Notch signaling and decreased MUC2 expression, while overexpression of NFAT5 inhibited Notch signaling and increased MUC2 expression. Our results demonstrate a role for NFAT5 in the regulation of mTOR signaling in intestinal cells. Importantly, these data suggest that NFAT5 participates in the regulation of intestinal homeostasis via the suppression of mTORC1/Notch signaling pathway.

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Published in Molecular Biology of the Cell, v. 25, no. 18, p. 2882-2890.

© 2014 Zhou et al.

This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

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This work was supported by R01 DK48498 from the National Institutes of Health.

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