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Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;52:381-400. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010611-134537. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

AMPK and mTOR in cellular energy homeostasis and drug targets.

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Life Sciences Institute and Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central controller of cell growth and proliferation. mTOR forms two distinct complexes, mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2). mTORC1 is regulated by multiple signals such as growth factors, amino acids, and cellular energy and regulates numerous essential cellular processes including translation, transcription, and autophagy. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cellular energy sensor and signal transducer that is regulated by a wide array of metabolic stresses. These two pathways serve as a signaling nexus for regulating cellular metabolism, energy homeostasis, and cell growth, and dysregulation of each pathway may contribute to the development of metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. This review focuses on our current understanding of the relationship between AMPK and mTORC1 signaling and discusses their roles in cellular and organismal energy homeostasis.

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