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Review
. 2014 Nov;397(1-2):67-77.
doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2014.07.015. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Influence of mTOR in Energy and Metabolic Homeostasis

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Review

Influence of mTOR in Energy and Metabolic Homeostasis

Magalie Haissaguerre et al. Mol Cell Endocrinol. .

Abstract

The mechanistic (or mammalian) target of rapamycin couples a variety of different environmental signals, including nutrients and hormones, with the regulation of several energy-demanding cellular functions, spanning from protein and lipid synthesis to mitochondrial activity and cytoskeleton dynamics. mTOR forms two distinct protein complexes in cells, mTORC1 and mTORC2. This review focuses on recent advances made in understanding the roles played by these two complexes in the regulation of whole body metabolic homeostasis. Studies carried out in the past few years have shown that mTORC1 activity in the hypothalamus varies by cell and stimulus type, and that this complex is critically implicated in the regulation of food intake and body weight and in the central actions of both nutrients and hormones, such as leptin, ghrelin and triiodothyronine. As a regulator of cellular anabolic processes, mTORC1 activity in the periphery favors adipogenesis, lipogenesis, glucose uptake and beta-cell mass expansion. Much less is known about the function of mTORC2 in the hypothalamus, while in peripheral organs this second complex exerts roles strikingly similar to those described for mTORC1. Deregulation of mTORC1 and mTORC2 is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Insights on the exact relationship between mTORC1 and mTORC2 in the context of the regulation of metabolic homeostasis and on the specific molecular mechanisms engaged by these two complexes in such regulation may provide new avenues for therapy.

Keywords: Energy balance; Hormone; Hypothalamus; Leptin; mTORC1; mTORC2.

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