Targeting the mTOR signaling network in cancer

Trends Mol Med. 2007 Oct;13(10):433-42. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2007.08.001. Epub 2007 Oct 1.


The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an unconventional protein kinase that is centrally involved in the control of cancer cell metabolism, growth and proliferation. The mTOR pathway has attracted broad scientific and clinical interest, particularly in light of the ongoing clinical cancer trials with mTOR inhibitors. The mixed clinical results to date reflect the complexity of both cancer as a disease target, and the mTOR signaling network, which contains two functionally distinct mTOR complexes, parallel regulatory pathways, and feedback loops that contribute to the variable cellular responses to the current inhibitors. In this review, we discuss the regulatory pathways that govern mTOR activity, and highlight clinical results obtained with the first generation of mTOR inhibitors to reach the oncology clinics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases


  • Protein Kinases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases