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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2008 Apr;6(4):266-75. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1855. Epub 2008 Mar 3.

The TORrid affairs of viruses: effects of mammalian DNA viruses on the PI3K-Akt-mTOR signalling pathway.

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Department of Cancer Biology and Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 314 Biomedical Research Building, 421 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, 19104-6142 Pennsylvania, USA.


The successful replication of mammalian DNA viruses requires that they gain control of key cellular signalling pathways that affect broad aspects of cellular macromolecular synthesis, metabolism, growth and survival. The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K-Akt-mTOR) pathway is one such pathway. Mammalian DNA viruses have evolved various mechanisms to activate this pathway to obtain the benefits of Akt activation, including the maintenance of translation through the activation of mTOR. In addition, viruses must overcome the inhibition of this pathway that results from the activation of cellular stress responses during viral infection. This Review will discuss the range of mechanisms that mammalian DNA viruses use to activate this pathway, as well as the multiple mechanisms these viruses have evolved to circumvent inhibitory stress signalling.

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