Loss of the TSC1/TSC2 complex leads to constitutively high mTORC1 signaling; however, pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1 in this setting produces a broad spectrum of clinical responses. We report herein several cell surface proteins upregulated by inactivation of TSC1 that present therapeutic alternatives or adjuvants to direct mTORC1 inhibition. A proteomics screen revealed that TSC1 loss most dramatically induced the expression of neprilysin (NEP/CD10) and aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13). The survival of TSC1 null human cancer cells was dependent on NEP expression, and TSC1 mutation sensitized cells to biochemical inhibition of APN. Remarkably, NEP and APN upregulation occurred via a TSC2- and mTORC1-independent mechanism; therefore, the antiproliferative effects of mTORC1 inhibition could be augmented by co-suppression of APN activity.
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