Send to

Choose Destination
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

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


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.


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


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center