Research ArticleEVOLUTION

Evolution of the TSC1/TSC2-TOR Signaling Pathway

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Science Signaling  29 Jun 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 128, pp. ra49
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000803

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A TOR of the Eukaryotic Tree

The mammalian target of rapamycin (TOR) integrates signals from growth factors with those concerning cell energy and nutrient status to regulate protein synthesis and thereby cell growth and proliferation. TOR signaling has been implicated in everything from the immune response to regulation of life span; moreover, dysfunction of the TOR signaling pathway contributes to various pathological conditions, including tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, diabetes, and cancer. Serfontein et al. undertook a systematic survey of the distribution of components of the TOR pathway across the eukaryote lineage and came to the conclusion that this crucial pathway arose through the successive addition of features to a primitive pathway linking relative concentrations of adenine nucleotides to protein synthesis and growth. Moreover, their analysis led to a reevaluation of the location of the root of the eukaryotic tree of life.

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