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REVIEW: Protein Phosphorylation Signaling Cascades in Autism: The Role of mTOR Pathway

Irina S. Boksha1,2,a*, Tatyana A. Prokhorova1, Elena B. Tereshkina1, Olga K. Savushkina1, and Gulnur Sh. Burbaeva1

1Mental Health Research Center, 115522 Moscow, Russia

2Gamaleya Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, 123098 Moscow, Russia

Received December 18, 2020; Revised March 18, 2021; Accepted March 22, 2021
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is a central regulator of cell metabolism, growth, and survival in response to hormones, growth factors, nutrients, and stress-induced signals. In this review, we analyzed the studies on the molecular abnormalities of the mTOR-associated signaling cascades in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and outlined the prospects for the pathogenicity-targeting pharmacotherapeutic approaches to ASDs, in particular syndromic ASDs. Based on available experimental and clinical data, we suggest that very early detection of molecular abnormalities in the ASD risk groups can be facilitated by using peripheral blood platelets. Also, identification of the time window of critical dysregulations in the described pathways in the ASD risk groups might suggest further research directions leading to more efficacious pharmacotherapeutic interventions in ASDs.
KEY WORDS: mTOR, signaling cascades, protein phosphorylation, autism spectrum disorders

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297921050072