mTOR Signaling Pathway

mTOR signaling diagram

What is mTOR?

The Mechanistic Target Of Rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine protein kinase which belongs to the phosphoinositol 3-kinase related kinase protein family. mTOR plays important roles in a variety of cellular processes including; cell growth, cell survival, motility, transcription and cell proliferation.

mTOR acts a central hub, integrating signals from a number of upstream pathways including Ras, PI3K and IRS-1 and therefore plays an important role in responding to signals from growth factors, amino acids and insulin.  It also plays a role in cellular nutrient, oxygen and energy sensing.

mTOR related conditions and inhibitors

These broad activities mean that its dysregulation is implicated in a number of conditions including diabetes, obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  It is also of great interest in the aging process and organ transplants, inhibitors such as rapamycin are used to prevent transplant rejection.

mTOR achieves its diverse roles through participating in two protein complexes referred to as mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) which differ in subcellular localisation and binding partners.   While mTORC1 regulates translation through 4EBP1 and p70S6K, mTORC2 activates AKT through phosphorylation at Ser473.  

Cell Lines For Studying mTOR Signaling

Horizon Discovery has developed a range of cell lines suitable for mTOR pathway related research.

Examples of popular Knockout cell lines
AKT1 HIF1A MLST8 RICTOR
AKT2 IRS1 PDPK1 RPS6KA1
AKT3 LAMTOR4 PIK3C2B TSC1
ATG13 LRP5 PIK3CA TSC2
DDIT4 LRP6 PIK3CB ULK1
DDIT4L MAPK1 PIK3CD ULK3
EIF4EBP1 MAPK3 PRKAB1 ULK4
GSK3B MAPKAP1 PTEN  
Experimental validation 
AKT phosphorylation is lost in RICTOR Knockout Cell Lines; Cells starved in 0.5% fetal calf serum over night and subsequently stimulated with 10% FCS for 0,1,2 or 3h (as indicated). Cells were washed with PBS, lysed in Frackelton buffer (10 mM Tris/HCl pH 7.5, 50 mM NaCl, 30 mM sodium pyrophosphate, 1 % Triton X-100, 50 mM NaF and protease inhibitors) and analyzed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting using anti-phospho AKT (Ser 473; #4058 from Cell Signaling) or anti-AKT (#4691 from Cell Signaling). HAP1 wild-type cells were compared to cells bearing a frameshift mutation in RICTOR. 

Read our application note on screening mTOR targeted compounds using Horizon Cell Lines.

screening mTOR targeted compounds

Our cell line range is constantly growing. For our most current list of ready-made cell lines and details of custom made engineering projects you can browse our entire offering via the link below.

Browse Our Cell Line Options


For offline access, many of our popular cell lines that are usually available for immediate delivery are listed in our downloadable our catalog - your gene edited cell line may already have been created!

Horizon Cell Lines Catalog

Back to top