DOI: 10.3390/ijms241612736 ISSN:

Signaling Pathways Leading to mTOR Activation Downstream Cytokine Receptors in Lymphocytes in Health and Disease

Lucie Fallone, Thierry Walzer, Antoine Marçais
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

CD8+ T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells are cytotoxic lymphocytes important in the response to intracellular pathogens and cancer. Their activity depends on the integration of a large set of intracellular and environmental cues, including antigenic signals, cytokine stimulation and nutrient availability. This integration is achieved by signaling hubs, such as the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). mTOR is a conserved protein kinase that controls cellular growth and metabolism in eukaryotic cells and, therefore, is essential for lymphocyte development and maturation. However, our current understanding of mTOR signaling comes mostly from studies performed in transformed cell lines, which constitute a poor model for comprehending metabolic pathway regulation. Therefore, it is only quite recently that the regulation of mTOR in primary cells has been assessed. Here, we review the signaling pathways leading to mTOR activation in CD8+ T and NK cells, focusing on activation by cytokines. We also discuss how this knowledge can contribute to immunotherapy development, particularly for cancer treatment.

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