Lysosomal amino acid transporter involved in the activation of mTORC1 in response to amino acids. Probably acts as an amino acid sensor of the Rag GTPases and Ragulator complexes, 2 complexes involved in amino acid sensing and activation of mTORC1, a signaling complex promoting cell growth in response to growth factors, energy levels, and amino acids (PubMed:25561175, PubMed:25567906). Following activation by amino acids, the Ragulator and Rag GTPases function as a scaffold recruiting mTORC1 to lysosomes where it is in turn activated. SLC38A9 mediates transport of amino acids with low capacity and specificity with a slight preference for polar amino acids, suggesting that it acts as an amino acid sensor instead (PubMed:25561175, PubMed:25567906). The high concentration of arginine in lysosomes suggests that it acts as an arginine sensor (PubMed:25567906).
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