Protein Synthesis and Hypertrophy (mTOR)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Author FitnessGenes

Protein Synthesis and Hypertrophy (mTOR)

mTOR stands for Mammalian Target of Rapamycin

It is a key molecule that regulates the growth of cells in response to various stimuli, including: the availability of nutrients, changes in energy balance, hormones, changes in blood flow and oxygen delivery, and mechanical load on muscles (e.g. as part of resistance training). 

mTOR controls the growth and production (or ‘synthesis’) of protein in various types of cells, including muscle cells (muscle fibers). Enlargement of muscle fibers (hypertophy) relies upon mTOR signalling. It therefore plays an important role in muscle gains following exercise.

mTOR also regulates a process called autophagy - the breakdown and recycling of old, faulty and damaged cell components. This process helps to rejuvenate cells and influences how quickly our cells age. mTOR is therefore crucially involved in the ageing process.  

Variants of your MTOR gene, which encodes the mTOR protein, affect how effectively you build muscle and accumulate fat, as well as how quickly your cells age.

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