Background: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR, FRAP, RAFT) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase (1-3) that functions as an ATP and amino acid sensor to balance nutrient availability and cell growth (4,5). When sufficient nutrients are available, mTOR responds to a phosphatidic acid-mediated signal to transmit a positive signal to p70 S6 kinase and participate in the inactivation of the eIF4E inhibitor, 4E-BP1 (6). These events result in the translation of specific mRNA subpopulations. mTOR is phosphorylated at Ser2448 via the PI3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway and autophosphorylated at Ser2481 (7,8). mTOR plays a key role in cell growth and homeostasis and may be abnormally regulated in tumors. For these reasons, mTOR is currently under investigation as a potential target for anti-cancer therapy (9).
Background: α-Synuclein is a protein of 140-amino acids expressed abundantly in the brain. α-Synuclein is also the main component of pathogenic Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. Research studies have shown that mutations of the α-synuclein gene are linked to Parkinson's disease (1).