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Balancing mTOR Signaling and Autophagy in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Mr. and Mrs. Ko Chi Ming Centre for Parkinson’s Disease Research, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China
Medical College of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Rehabilitation, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau SAR 999078, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 728;
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue mTOR in Human Diseases)
PDF [1072 KB, uploaded 11 February 2019]


The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway plays a critical role in regulating cell growth, proliferation, and life span. mTOR signaling is a central regulator of autophagy by modulating multiple aspects of the autophagy process, such as initiation, process, and termination through controlling the activity of the unc51-like kinase 1 (ULK1) complex and vacuolar protein sorting 34 (VPS34) complex, and the intracellular distribution of TFEB/TFE3 and proto-lysosome tubule reformation. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a serious, common neurodegenerative disease characterized by dopaminergic neuron loss in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and the accumulation of Lewy bodies. An increasing amount of evidence indicates that mTOR and autophagy are critical for the pathogenesis of PD. In this review, we will summarize recent advances regarding the roles of mTOR and autophagy in PD pathogenesis and treatment. Further characterizing the dysregulation of mTOR pathway and the clinical translation of mTOR modulators in PD may offer exciting new avenues for future drug development. View Full-Text
Keywords: mTOR; autophagy; Parkinson’s disease mTOR; autophagy; Parkinson’s disease

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Zhu, Z.; Yang, C.; Iyaswamy, A.; Krishnamoorthi, S.; Sreenivasmurthy, S.G.; Liu, J.; Wang, Z.; Tong, B. .-K.; Song, J.; Lu, J.; Cheung, K.-H.; Li, M. Balancing mTOR Signaling and Autophagy in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 728.

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