The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is a crucial mechanism for nutrient sensing and regulation of growth, development, and homeostasis. Dysregulation of mTOR is involved in a number of chronic conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. mTOR signaling is modulated by a variety of factors, including nutrient and oxygen availability, growth factors, and insulin. This evolutionary conserved pathway also plays an important role in aging and lifespan regulation. All of these involvements in central metabolic functions make mTOR an interesting target for pharmacological manipulation. In humans, rapamycin has been approved for use since 1999 and is prescribed for immunosuppression in transplant recipients or as an anticancer agent. Rapamycin and rapalogs have shown beneficial effects in health- and lifespan prolongation in model organisms and patient data from clinical trials has also provided some promising results in the suppression or prevention of age-related diseases. In this article, we analyze current evidence and discuss the potential role of mTOR-inhibitors and mTOR-activators in the battle against aging and age-related diseases.

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Department of Biology

Piskovatska, V. (Veronika), Strilbyska, O. (Olha), Storey, K, Vaiserman, A.M. (Alexander M.), & Lushchak, O. (Oleh). (2019). mTOR pharmacology. In Encyclopedia of Biomedical Gerontology (pp. 447–454). doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.62134-7