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The rapamycin-insensitive mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) has been suggested to play an important role in growth factor-dependent signaling. To explore this possibility further in a mammalian model system, we disrupted the expression of rictor, a specific component of mTORC2, in mice by using a multiallelic gene targeting strategy. Embryos that lack rictor develop normally until E9.5, and then exhibit growth arrest and die by E11.5. Although placental defects occur in null embryos, an epiblast-specific knockout of rictor only delayed lethality by a few days, thereby suggesting other important roles for this complex in the embryo proper. Analyses of rictor null embryos and fibroblasts indicate that mTORC2 is a primary kinase for Ser473 of Akt/PKB. Rictor null fibroblasts exhibit low proliferation rates, impaired Akt/PKB activity, and diminished metabolic activity. Taken together, these findings indicate that both rictor and mTORC2 are essential for the development of both embryonic and extraembryonic tissues.
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