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Blood. 2011 Dec 22;118(26):6803-13. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-06-359984. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

mTORC1 and mTORC2 differentially regulate homeostasis of neoplastic and non-neoplastic human mast cells.

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Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1881, USA.


Increased mast cell burden is observed in the inflamed tissues and affected organs and tissues of patients with mast cell proliferative disorders. However, normal mast cells participate in host defense, so approaches to preferentially target clonally expanding mast cells are needed. We found that mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and 2 (mTORC2) are up-regulated in neoplastic and developing immature mast cells compared with their terminally differentiated counterparts. Elevated mTOR mRNA was also observed in bone marrow mononuclear cells of patients exhibiting mast-cell hyperplasia. Selective inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 through genetic and pharmacologic manipulation revealed that, whereas mTORC1 may contribute to mast-cell survival, mTORC2 was only critical for homeostasis of neoplastic and dividing immature mast cells. The cytostatic effect of mTORC2 down-regulation in proliferating mast cells was determined to be via inhibition of cell-cycle progression. Because mTORC2 was observed to play little role in the homeostasis of differentiated, nonproliferating, mature mast cells, these data provide a rationale for adopting a targeted approaching selectively inhibiting mTORC2 to effectively reduce the proliferation of mast cells associated with inflammation and disorders of mast cell proliferation while leaving normal differentiated mast cells largely unaffected.

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