The role and regulation of mTOR in T-lymphocyte function.
The conversion of naïve T cells into effector T cells is initiated by stimulation through the T-cell receptor (TCR). Upon activation, T cells undergo significant morphological and functional changes, putting new metabolic demands on the cell. Past research has identified the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) as a critical regulator of cell metabolism, and the development of new genetic models has begun to reveal an important role for this pathway in the homeostasis and function of T lymphocytes. In this review, we focus on the most recent findings that demonstrate the ability of mTOR to regulate T-cell activation, CD8(+) memory cell formation and function, and helper T lineage differentiation. Furthermore, we highlight the importance of tight control of mTOR signaling by tuberous sclerosis complex 1 for T-cell homeostasis, and the regulation of mTOR signaling by diacylglycerol kinases and the RasGRP1-Ras-Erk1/2 pathway in the context of TCR signaling.
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