Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder characterized by seizures, mental disability, renal dysfunction and dermatological abnormalities. The disease is caused by inactivation of either hamartin or tuberin, the products of the TSC1 and TSC2 tumour-suppressor genes. Hamartin and tuberin form a complex and antagonise phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/target of rapamycin signal transduction by inhibiting p70 S6 kinase, an activator of translation, and activating 4E-binding protein 1, an inhibitor of translation initiation. Phosphorylation-dependent binding between tuberin and members of the 14-3-3 protein family indicates how the tuberin–hamartin complex may interact with upstream and downstream effectors, and suggests how phosphorylation-dependent regulation of the complex may be controlled.

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