PI3K-Akt signaling pathway

The phosphatidylinositol 3' -kinase(PI3K)-Akt signaling pathway is an intracellular signaling pathway important in regulating the cell cycle and is activated by many types of cellular stimuli or toxic insults and regulates fundamental cellular functions such as transcription, translation, proliferation, growth, and survival. The binding of growth factors to their receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) or G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) stimulates class Ia and Ib PI3K isoforms, respectively. PI3K catalyzes the production of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP3) at the cell membrane. PIP3 in turn serves as a second messenger that helps to activate Akt, localizing it in the plasma membrane. AKT can have a number of downstream effects such as activating CREB, inhibiting p27, localizing FOXO in the cytoplasm, activating PtdIns-3ps, and activating mTOR which can affect transcription of p70 or 4EBP1. There are many known factors that enhance the PI3K/AKT pathway including EGF, shh, IGF-1, insulin, and CaM. The pathway is antagonized by various factors including PTEN, GSK3B, and HB9. In many cancers, this pathway is overactive, thus reducing apoptosis and allowing proliferation.

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