The mammalian target of rapomycin (mTOR) signaling pathway appears to regulate an organism's food intake, according to a paper in this week's Science. The authors suggest that aberrant mTOR signaling in the brain may contribute to excessive eating associated with obesity and diabetes."It provides the first clear evidence that this mTOR signaling pathway is not only present in the key areas of the central nervous system but also that it plays an important role as a sensing mechanism in order to control food intake," André Marette of the University of Laval in Québec, who was not involved in the study, told The Scientist.The mTOR protein is a highly conserved kinase that senses changes in cellular energy status and regulates cell growth and proliferation. Elevated mTOR activity in the body's periphery had previously been linked with obesity, diabetes, and cancer. But its role in the central nervous...

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