Deficiency of glucose, even under sufficient amino acid supply, turns off translation and promotes catabolic processes to aid cell survival. A recent report by Yoon et al. (2020) shows that glucose is required for the full activity of the leucyl-tRNA synthetase LARS1 and maintains mTORC1 function via LARS1 to enhance translation. Glucose starvation abolishes both effects via phosphorylation of LARS1 by the AMPK-ULK1 signaling pathway. This study supports the idea that glucose starvation inhibits translation at multiple levels.