Unmasking the impact of Rictor in cancer: Novel insights of mTORC2 complex

Anastasios Gkountakos, Sara Pilotto, Andrea Mafficini, Caterina Vicentini, Michele Simbolo, Michele Milella, Giampaolo Tortora, Aldo Scarpa, Emilio Bria, Vincenzo Corbo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Genomic alterations affecting components of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway are found rather frequently in cancers, suggesting that aberrant pathway activity is implicated in oncogenesis of different tumor types. mTOR functions as the core catalytic kinase of two distinct complexes, mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and 2 (mTORC2), which control numerous vital cellular processes. There is growing evidence indicating that Rictor, an essential subunit of the mTORC2 complex, is inappropriately overexpressed across numerous cancer types and this is associated with poor survival. To date, the candidate mechanisms responsible for aberrant Rictor expression described in cancer are two: (i) gene amplification and (ii) epigenetic regulation, mainly by microRNAs. Moreover, different mTOR-independent Rictor-containing complexes with oncogenic role have been documented, revealing alternative routes of Rictor-driven tumorigenesis, but simultaneously, paving the way for identifying novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Here, we review the main preclinical and clinical data regarding the role of Rictor in carcinogenesis and metastatic behavior as well as the potentiality of its alteration as a target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-980
Number of pages10
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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