Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) antagonists
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine-threonine kinase member of the cellular phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, which is involved in multiple biologic functions such as transcriptional and translational control. mTOR is a downstream mediator in the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and plays a critical role in cell survival. In breast cancer this pathway can be activated by membrane receptors, including the HER (or ErbB) family of growth factor receptors, the insulin-like growth factor receptor, and the estrogen receptor. There is evidence suggesting that Akt promotes breast cancer cell survival and resistance to chemotherapy, trastuzumab, and tamoxifen. Rapamycin is a specific mTOR antagonist that targets this pathway and blocks the downstream signaling elements, resulting in cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. Targeting the Akt/PI3K pathway with mTOR antagonists may increase the therapeutic efficacy of breast cancer therapy.