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The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) coordinates eukaryotic cell growth and
metabolism with environmental inputs, including nutrients and growth factors. Extensive
research over the past two decades has established a central role for mTOR in regulating
many fundamental cell processes, from protein synthesis to autophagy, and deregulated
mTOR signaling is implicated in the progression of cancer and diabetes, as well as
the aging process. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of mTOR function,
regulation, and importance in mammalian physiology. We also highlight how the mTOR
signaling network contributes to human disease and discuss the current and future
prospects for therapeutically targeting mTOR in the clinic.