Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(2), 3874-3900; doi:10.3390/ijms14023874
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Chemical Inhibitors and microRNAs (miRNA) Targeting the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathway: Potential for Novel Anticancer Therapeutics

1 Division of Molecular and Gene Therapies, Griffith Health Institute, School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4215, Australia 2 Biology Department, College of Medicine, University of Dammam, Dammam 31451, Saudi Arabia
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2012; in revised form: 8 January 2013 / Accepted: 10 January 2013 / Published: 13 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Oncology)
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Abstract: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a critical regulator of many fundamental features in response to upstream cellular signals, such as growth factors, energy, stress and nutrients, controlling cell growth, proliferation and metabolism through two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. Dysregulation of mTOR signalling often occurs in a variety of human malignant diseases making it a crucial and validated target in the treatment of cancer. Tumour cells have shown high susceptibility to mTOR inhibitors. Rapamycin and its derivatives (rapalogs) have been tested in clinical trials in several tumour types and found to be effective as anticancer agents in patients with advanced cancers. To block mTOR function, they form a complex with FKBP12 and then bind the FRB domain of mTOR. Furthermore, a new generation of mTOR inhibitors targeting ATP-binding in the catalytic site of mTOR showed potent and more selective inhibition. More recently, microRNAs (miRNA) have emerged as modulators of biological pathways that are essential in cancer initiation, development and progression. Evidence collected to date shows that miRNAs may function as tumour suppressors or oncogenes in several human neoplasms. The mTOR pathway is a promising target by miRNAs for anticancer therapy. Extensive studies have indicated that regulation of the mTOR pathway by miRNAs plays a major role in cancer progression, indicating a novel way to investigate the tumorigenesis and therapy of cancer. Here, we summarize current findings of the role of mTOR inhibitors and miRNAs in carcinogenesis through targeting mTOR signalling pathways and determine their potential as novel anti-cancer therapeutics.
Keywords: mTOR; Akt; S6K; Rapamycin; cancer; therapy; miRNA

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MDPI and ACS Style

AlQurashi, N.; Hashimi, S.M.; Wei, M.Q. Chemical Inhibitors and microRNAs (miRNA) Targeting the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathway: Potential for Novel Anticancer Therapeutics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 3874-3900.

AMA Style

AlQurashi N, Hashimi SM, Wei MQ. Chemical Inhibitors and microRNAs (miRNA) Targeting the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathway: Potential for Novel Anticancer Therapeutics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(2):3874-3900.

Chicago/Turabian Style

AlQurashi, Naif; Hashimi, Saeed M.; Wei, Ming Q. 2013. "Chemical Inhibitors and microRNAs (miRNA) Targeting the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathway: Potential for Novel Anticancer Therapeutics." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 2: 3874-3900.

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