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[mTOR, the mammalian target of rapamycin].

Julien LA, Roux PP

Institut de recherche en immunologie et en cancérologie (IRIC), Département de pathologie et biologie cellulaire, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, CP 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7 Canada.

The discovery of rapamycin from a soil sample on Easter Island in the mid 60's marked the beginning of an exciting field of research in cell biology and medicine. While it was first used as an antifungal and as an immunosuppressive drug, more recent studies confirmed rapamycin's antiproliferative properties over a variety of solid tumors. Research aimed at identifying its mechanism of action uncovered mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), a protein kinase that regulates mRNA translation and protein synthesis, an essential step in cell division and proliferation. Recent evidence suggests a more complex role for mTOR in the regulation of several growth factor-stimulated protein kinases, including the proto-oncogene Akt. This article reviews mTOR function and regulation, and briefly details the future challenges for anti-cancer therapies based on mTOR inhibition.

Med Sci (Paris) 2010;26(12):1056-60.

Pubmed ID: 21187044

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