The process of cell growth depends on a complex co-ordinated programme of macromolecular synthesis that can be tuned to environmental constraints. In eukaryotes, the mTOR [mammalian (or mechanistic) target of rapamycin] signalling pathway is a master regulator of this process, in part by regulating mRNA translation through control of the eIF4F (eukaryotic initiation factor 4F) initiation complex. The present review discusses the role of this relationship in mTOR-regulated gene expression, and its contribution to phenotypes associated with deregulated mTOR signalling, such as cancer.

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