Reflecting its critical role in integrating cell growth and division with the cellular nutritional environment, the mammalian target of rapamycin *(mTOR) is a highly conserved downstream effector of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt (protein kinase B) signaling pathway. mTOR activates both the 40S ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70s6k) and the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein-1. As a consequence of inhibiting its downstream messengers, mTOR inhibitors prevent cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activation, inhibit retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation, and accelerate the turnover of cyclin D1, leading to a deficiency of active CDK4/cyclin D1 complexes, all of which may help cause GI phase arrest. Constitutive activation of the PI3K/Akt kinases occur in human leukemias. FLT3, VEGF, and BCR-ABL mediate their activities via mTOR. New rapamycin analogs including CCI-779, RAD001, and AP23573, are entering clinical studies for patients with hematologic malignancies.
- Phosphatidylinositol 3′ kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology