Mammalian TOR: A Homeostatic ATP Sensor

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Science  02 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5544, pp. 1102-1105
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063518

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The bacterial macrolide rapamycin is an efficacious anticancer agent against solid tumors. In a hypoxic environment, the increase in mass of solid tumors is dependent on the recruitment of mitogens and nutrients. When nutrient concentrations change, particularly those of essential amino acids, the mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) functions in regulatory pathways that control ribosome biogenesis and cell growth. In bacteria, ribosome biogenesis is independently regulated by amino acids and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Here we demonstrate that the mTOR pathway is influenced by the intracellular concentration of ATP, independent of the abundance of amino acids, and that mTOR itself is an ATP sensor.

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