The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a kinase that plays a crucial role in controlling cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is found in two complexes called mTOR complex 1 and 2 (mTORC1 and mTORC2). In response to nutrients and growth factors, these complexes activate several anabolic processes including the synthesis of proteins and lipids. Several oncogenes and tumor suppressors are known to control the action of mTORC1/2. Studies indicate that these complexes are highly active in many cancers. In recent years, research groups have observed that in addition to controlling protein synthesis, mTOR pathway profoundly affects gene transcription by directly modulating the activity of several transcription factors. The objective of our work is to identify new transcription factors whose activity is modulated by mTOR and to define their roles in cancer development.
Key questions :   
  • Does mTOR regulate the action of transcription factors that have not been identified so far?
  • Can we identify these new transcription factors?     
  • Can these discoveries be exploited to develop new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of cancer?