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Curr Biol. 2009 Dec 1;19(22):R1046-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.09.058.

An emerging role of mTOR in lipid biosynthesis.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Lipid biosynthesis is essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. The lipids produced by cells (glycerolipids, fatty acids, phospholipids, cholesterol, and sphingolipids) are used as an energy source/reserve, as building blocks for membrane biosynthesis, as precursor molecules for the synthesis of various cellular products, and as signaling molecules. Defects in lipid synthesis or processing contribute to the development of many diseases, including obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer. Studies published over the last few years have shown that the target of rapamycin (TOR), a conserved serine/threonine kinase with an important role in regulating cell growth, controls lipid biosynthesis through various mechanisms. Here, we review these findings and briefly discuss their potential relevance for human health and disease.

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