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Open Access mTOR, a Potential Target to Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key regulator in various cellular processes, including cell growth, gene expression, and synaptic functions. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is frequently accompanied by monogenic disorders, such as tuberous sclerosis complex, phosphatase and tensin homolog tumor hamartoma syndrome, neurofibromatosis 1, and fragile X syndrome, in which mTOR is hyperactive. Mutations in the genes involved in the mTOR-mediated signaling pathway have been identified in some cases of syndromic ASD. Evidences indicate a pathogenic role for hyperactive mTOR-mediated signaling in ASD associated with these monogenic disorders, and mTOR inhibitors are a potential pharmacotherapy for ASD. Abnormal synaptic transmission through metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 may underlie in a part of ASD associated with hyperactive mTOR-mediated signaling. In this review, the relationship between mTOR and ASD is discussed.
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Keywords: Autophagy; fragile X syndrome; mammalian target of rapamycin; metabotropic glutamate receptor 5; neurofibromatosis; phosphatase and tensin homolog; tuberous sclerosis complex

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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