AAT Bioquest

What are the applications of AKT signaling?

Posted September 27, 2023


AKT has significant roles in various cell signaling processes such as cell metabolism, division, growth, angiogenesis, and apoptosis suppression. AKT promotes cell survival through regulating growth factors and blocking apoptosis via the inactivation of pro-apoptotic proteins. It has been suggested that integrin signaling generated by cell binding (outside-in signal) is a crucial regulator of angiogenesis via PI3K-Akt pathways. AKT also exhibits significant metabolic effects including glucose uptake in fat and muscle cells, or the suppression of nerve cell death. One way AKT plays a role in cell proliferation is by regulating cell cycle progression. The activated form of AKT regulates the functions of substrates involved in the cell-cycle. Disruptions in the AKT-regulated pathways, such as overexpression and mutations, may lead to various cancers, cardiovascular or neurological diseases, and diabetes. Mutations which activate the catalytic subunit of PI3k, activation of Ras and growth factor receptors, the loss of PTEN, can all lead to Akt activation in cancer cells. The regulation of AKT signaling pathways helps to use Akt effectively as a therapeutic target. For example, the overexpression of pAKT has been suggested to act as a therapeutic agent for treating tumors. The discovery of Akt inhibitors displays high selectivity and low toxicity for treating cancers. Apelin-13 is a ligand used to activate PI3K/AKT signaling pathways and enhance the efficiency of MSCs during cell therapy in diabetes. 

Additional resources

PTEN Tumor Suppressor Network in PI3K-Akt Pathway Control

Cell Signaling Pathways

Serine/threonine-protein kinase AKT Inhibitors (IC50, Ki)