Amino acids, long considered simply substrates for protein synthesis, have been recently shown to act as modulators of intracellular signal transduction pathways typically associated with growth-promoting hormones such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1. Many of the endpoints of the signaling pathways regulated by amino acids are proteins involved in mRNA translation. Thus, particular amino acids not only serve as substrates for protein synthesis but are also modulators of the process. The focus of this article is to review recent studies that have used intact animals as experimental models to examine the role of amino acids as modulators of signal transduction pathways. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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