The Rps6kb1 gene encodes the 70 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K), which is a serine/threonine kinase regulated by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. p70S6K plays a crucial role in controlling cell cycle, growth and survival. The PI3K/mTOR signalling pathway is one of the major mechanisms for controlling cell survival, proliferation and metabolism and is the central regulator of translation of some components of protein synthesis system. Upon activation, this kinase phosphorylates S6 protein of ribosomal subunit 40S resulting in selective translation of unique family of mRNAs that contain oligopyrimidine tract on 5’ transcriptional site (5′TOP). 5′TOP mRNAs are coding the components of translational apparatus including ribosomal proteins and elongation factors. Due to the role of p70S6K in protein synthesis and also its involvement in a variety of human diseases ranging from diabetes and obesity to cancer, p70S6K is now being considered as a new therapeutic target for drug development. Furthermore, p70S6K acts as a biomarker for response to immunosuppressant as well as anticancer effects of inhibitors of the mTOR. Because of the narrow therapeutic index of mTOR inhibitors, drug monitoring is essential, and this is usually done by measuring blood drug levels, therapeutic response and drug-induced adverse effects. Recent studies have suggested that plasma p70S6K is a reliable index for the monitoring of patient response to mTOR inhibitors. Therefore, a better understanding of p70S6K and its role in various pathological conditions could enable the development of strategies to aid diagnosis, prognosis and treatment schedules.
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