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Transcriptional regulation of the stress response by mTOR

Sci. Signal.  01 Jul 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 332, pp. re2
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005326

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Abstract

The kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central regulator of cell growth and proliferation that integrates inputs from growth factor receptors, nutrient availability, intracellular ATP (adenosine 5′-triphosphate), and a variety of stressors. Since early works in the mid-1990s uncovered the role of mTOR in stimulating protein translation, this kinase has emerged as a rather multifaceted regulator of numerous processes. Whereas mTOR is generally activated by growth- and proliferation-stimulating signals, its activity can be reduced and even suppressed when cells are exposed to a variety of stress conditions. However, cells can also adapt to stress while maintaining their growth capacity and mTOR function. Despite knowledge accumulated on how stress represses mTOR, less is known about mTOR influencing stress responses. In this review, we discuss the capability of mTOR, in particular mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), to activate stress-responsive transcription factors, and we outline open questions for future investigation.

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