Upstream of the mammalian target of rapamycin: do all roads pass through mTOR?
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that controls many aspects of cellular physiology, including transcription, translation, cell size, cytoskeletal organization and autophagy. Recent advances in the mTOR signaling field have found that mTOR exists in two heteromeric complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. The activity of mTORC1 is regulated by the integration of many signals, including growth factors, insulin, nutrients, energy availability and cellular stressors such as hypoxia, osmotic stress, reactive oxygen species and viral infection. In this review we highlight recent advances in the mTOR signaling field that relate to how the two mTOR complexes are regulated, and we discuss stress conditions linked to the mTOR signaling network that have not been extensively covered in other reviews. Given the diversity of signals that have been shown to impinge on mTOR, we also speculate on other signal-transduction pathways that may be linked to mTOR in the future.
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