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Am J Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 15;5(5):1602-9. eCollection 2015.

PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in cancer stem cells: from basic research to clinical application.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, College of Basic Medicine, Liaoning Medical University Jinzhou 121000, Liaoning, P.R. China.
2
Department of Pathophysiology, College of Basic Medicine, China Medical University Shenyang 110122, Liaoning, P.R. China.

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of tumor cells that possess unique self-renewal activity and mediate tumor initiation and propagation. The PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway can be considered as a master regulator for cancer. More and more recent studies have shown the links between PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and CSC biology. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review on the role of signaling components upstream and downstream of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling in CSC. In addition, we also summarize various classes of small molecule inhibitors of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and their clinical potential in CSC. Overall, the current available data suggest that the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway could be a promising target for development of CSC-target drugs.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer stem cells; PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway; rapamycin; self-renew; tumor initiation

PMID:
26175931
PMCID:
PMC4497429

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