Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Protein of the Day #17: mTOR

mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) does a whole lot of things, as the attempted pathway image below shows (from Wikipedia, which I am not ashamed to link to for biochemistry). My interest in it comes from its role in energy balance, particularly in synthesizing information in the hypothalamus. Since I am primarily focused on mammalian hibernation, the fact that mTOR is a serine-threonine kinase is intriguing - its known that transcription and protein translation are shut down during mammalian torpor bouts so the control mechanisms are likely to involve post-translational protein modifications such as phosphorylation. Perhaps mTOR is involved in these mechanisms.

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