The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway serves as a master regulator of cell metabolism, growth, proliferation and survival. The mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) plays a key role in protein synthesis. mTORC1 also positively regulates cellular metabolism and ATP production, as well as controlling the synthesis of lipids for membrane generation in proliferating cells and promoting cellular growth by negatively regulating autophagy. The mTORC2 complex promotes cellular survival, regulates cytoskeletal dynamics, and controls ion transport and growth. Aberrant mTOR signaling is involved in many pathological conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and neurodegeneration. Thus, mTOR inhibitor use in treating solid tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary restenosis, organ transplantation, and other diseases is growing and increasing our knowledge of the role of the mTOR pathway in health, disease, and aging.
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