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Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Apr 20;12(5):325-38. doi: 10.1038/nri3198.

Regulation and function of mTOR signalling in T cell fate decisions.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


The evolutionarily conserved kinase mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) couples cell growth and metabolism to environmental inputs in eukaryotes. T cells depend on mTOR signalling to integrate immune signals and metabolic cues for their proper maintenance and activation. Under steady-state conditions, mTOR is actively controlled by multiple inhibitory mechanisms, and this enforces normal T cell homeostasis. Antigen recognition by naive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells triggers mTOR activation, which in turn programmes the differentiation of these cells into functionally distinct lineages. This Review focuses on the signalling mechanisms of mTOR in T cell homeostatic and functional fates, and discusses the therapeutic implications of targeting mTOR in T cells.

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