Article

Expanding mTOR signaling.

Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Cell Research (Impact Factor: 11.98). 09/2007; 17(8):666-81. DOI: 10.1038/cr.2007.64
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has drawn much attention recently because of its essential role in cell growth control and its involvement in human tumorigenesis. Great endeavors have been made to elucidate the functions and regulation of mTOR in the past decade. The current prevailing view is that mTOR regulates many fundamental biological processes, such as cell growth and survival, by integrating both intracellular and extracellular signals, including growth factors, nutrients, energy levels, and cellular stress. The significance of mTOR has been highlighted most recently by the identification of mTOR-associated proteins. Amazingly, when bound to different proteins, mTOR forms distinctive complexes with very different physiological functions. These findings not only expand the roles that mTOR plays in cells but also further complicate the regulation network. Thus, it is now even more critical that we precisely understand the underlying molecular mechanisms in order to directly guide the development and usage of anti-cancer drugs targeting the mTOR signaling pathway. In this review, we will discuss different mTOR-associated proteins, the regulation of mTOR complexes, and the consequences of mTOR dysregulation under pathophysiological conditions.

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    ABSTRACT: The mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a conserved protein kinase that controls several anabolic processes required for cell growth and proliferation. As such, mTOR has been implicated in an increasing number of pathological conditions, including cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes and neurodegeneration. As part of the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), mTOR regulates cell growth by promoting the biosynthesis of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. Several mTORC1 substrates have been shown to regulate protein synthesis, including the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding proteins (4E-BPs) and the ribosomal S6 kinases (S6Ks) 1 and 2. In this work, we focus on the signalling pathways that lie both upstream and downstream of mTORC1, as well as their relevance to human pathologies. We further discuss pharmacological approaches that target mTOR and their applications for the treatment of cancer. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
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