The translation of mRNA into polypeptides is a key step in eukaryotic gene expression. Translation is mostly controlled at the level of initiation, which is partly regulated by the mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. Whereas mTOR controls global protein synthesis through specific effector proteins, its role in the translation of select groups of mRNAs, such as those harboring a terminal oligopyrimidine (TOP) tract at their 5' end, remains more enigmatic. In this article, we describe the current knowledge on the role of mTOR in global mRNA translation, but also focus on the potential molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of specific translational programs.
Keywords: mRNA translation; mTOR; mTORC1; protein synthesis; rapamycin.