Amino acids are well known to activate the mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in synergy with insulin to regulate cell functions. Despite recent important advances, the mTOR signalling pathway is poorly understood. Our previous results revealed a new pathway in which amino acids permit insulin-induced activation of the protein kinase B (PKB)/mTOR pathway in freshly isolated adipocytes when phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) is inhibited. The aim of this study was to further investigate this pathway at the molecular level.