mTOR as a central hub of nutrient signalling and cell growth

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The highly conserved protein kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR; originally known as mammalian target of rapamycin) is a central cell growth regulator connecting cellular metabolism and growth with a wide range of environmental inputs as part of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2. In this Review, we introduce the landmark discoveries in the mTOR field, starting from the isolation of rapamycin to the molecular characterizations of key components of the mTORC signalling network with an emphasis on amino acid sensing, and discuss the perspectives of mTORC inhibitors in therapeutic applications.

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Fig. 1: Timeline of some of the historical landmark discoveries in the mTOR field.
Fig. 2: Molecular composition and upstream regulators of mTORC1 and mTORC2.
Fig. 3: mTORC1 and amino acid signalling network.


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This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Ministry of Education in Korea (no. 2015R1D1A1A01059401 and no. 2018R1D1A1B07048869 to J.K.) and by grants from the National Institutes of Health (GM51586, CA196878 and CA217642 to K.-L.G.). K.-L.G. is a co-founder and has an equity interest in Vivace Therapeutics, Inc. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California, San Diego in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.

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Correspondence to Joungmok Kim or Kun-Liang Guan.

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Kim, J., Guan, K. mTOR as a central hub of nutrient signalling and cell growth. Nat Cell Biol 21, 63–71 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41556-018-0205-1

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