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Importance of mTor and the sustainment of muscle

What is mTor?

mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is a protein kinase that plays a central role in the regulation of cell growth and metabolism. In the context of muscle development, mTOR plays an important role in the synthesis of proteins, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue.

How mTOR is activated.

Activation of mTOR can be triggered by a number of different signals, including the presence of nutrients such as amino acids, particularly leucine. When mTOR is activated, it promotes the synthesis of proteins by promoting the transcription of mRNA and the translation of proteins. This can lead to an increase in muscle mass.

There are a number of factors that can activate mTOR, including exercise, hormones such as insulin and growth hormone, and nutrients such as amino acids. The activation of mTOR has a number of effects on the cell, including the stimulation of cell growth and the increase in protein synthesis.

Inactivtion of mTOR

During weight loss or starvation, the body may experience a decrease in nutrients and energy availability. In these situations, mTOR signaling can be reduced in order to conserve energy and reduce protein synthesis.  This suppression of mTOR signaling can lead to a decrease in muscle mass, as the synthesis of proteins is reduced. 

It is important to note that while the suppression of mTOR signaling during weight loss or starvation may help to conserve energy and reduce protein synthesis, it can also have negative effects on the body. For example, a decrease in muscle mass can lead to a reduction in muscle strength and function.

mTOR signaling in the older population

Strong evidence suggests that mTOR signaling is impaired in older individuals, which may contribute to the age-related decline in muscle mass and function known as sarcopenia.

Studies have shown that as mTOR signaling is reduced the skeletal muscle tissue in older individuals compared to younger individuals also decreases, which may contribute to the decrease in muscle protein synthesis and the decrease in muscle mass that occurs with aging.

In addition, the impaired mTOR signaling in older individuals decreased mTor is related to the ageing decline of muscle function and strength. By supporting mTOR signaling, it may be possible to improve muscle mass and function in older individuals and potentially mitigate some of the negative effects of aging on muscle tissue.

How to improve mTOR activation

Several strategies help to support mTOR signaling and improve muscle mass and function in older individuals, including exercise, adequate nutrition, supplements and/or medications.

Summary

mTOR plays a key role in the synthesis of proteins and the development of muscle tissue. Activation of mTOR can be triggered by a variety of beneficial  factors and has a number of effects on the cell, including the stimulation of cell growth and the increase in protein synthesis.

 

Author
David Bauder David J. Bauder, PA-C David Bauder, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant and the assistant medical director at Weight Loss and Vitality in Manassas and Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, DC; and Gaithersburg, MD. He enjoys helping patients optimize their physical and mental health to improve their overall well-being. He earned his physician assistant degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Afterward, he gained admission into the reputable graduate program for physician assistant studies at the University of Nebraska Health Science Center in Omaha. David has over 26 years of experience working as a physician assistant. He’s practiced in podiatry, family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, urgent care, and functional medicine.

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