Signaling crosstalk between the mTOR complexes

Jianling Xie, Chris G Proud

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mTOR is a protein kinase which integrates a variety of environmental and intracellular stimuli to positively regulate many anabolic processes of the cell, including protein synthesis. It exists within two highly conserved multi-protein complexes known as mTORC1 and 2 mTORC2. Each of these complexes phosphorylates different downstream targets, and play roles in different cellular functions. They also show distinctive sensitivity to the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Nevertheless, despite their biochemical and functional differences, recent studies have suggested that the regulation of these complexes is tightly linked to each other. For instance, both mTORC1 and 2 share some common upstream signaling molecules, such as PI3K and tuberous sclerosis complex TSC, which control their activation. Stimulation of the mTOR complexes may also trigger both positive and negative feedback mechanisms, which then in turn either further enhance or suppress their activation. Here, we summarize some recently discovered features relating to the crosstalk between mTORC1 and 2. We then discuss how aberrant mTOR complex crosstalk mechanisms may have an impact on the development of human diseases and drug resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e28174
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • mTORC1
  • mTORC2
  • SIN1
  • TSC2
  • protein synthesis
  • mRNA translation


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