Rapamycin, a macrocyclic lactone, is a highly specific inhibitor of the serine/threonine protein kinase target of rapamycin (TOR). Although it is clear that TOR controls initiation of protein translation, recent results indicate that TOR is a central controller, integrating a plethora of signalling pathways that respond to growth factors and nutritional status. In addition to the role of rapamycin as an immune suppressant, emerging data indicate that genetic and metabolic changes accompanying malignant transformation might cause hypersensitivity to TOR inhibition.
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