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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar;22(3):94-102. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2010.12.003. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

mTOR couples cellular nutrient sensing to organismal metabolic homeostasis.

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Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.


The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) has the ability to sense a variety of essential nutrients and respond by altering cellular metabolic processes. Hence, this protein kinase complex is poised to influence adaptive changes to nutrient fluctuations toward the maintenance of whole-body metabolic homeostasis. Defects in mTORC1 regulation, arising from either physiological or genetic conditions, are believed to contribute to the metabolic dysfunction underlying a variety of human diseases, including type 2 diabetes. We are just now beginning to gain insights into the complex tissue-specific functions of mTORC1. In this review, we detail the current knowledge of the physiological functions of mTORC1 in controlling systemic metabolism, with a focus on advances obtained through genetic mouse models.

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