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Hypertension. 2003 Apr;41(4):882-90. Epub 2003 Mar 3.

Akt is a major downstream target of PI3-kinase involved in angiotensin II-induced proliferation.

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  • 1INSERM U36-Coll├Ęge de France, 11, place Marcelin Berthelot, 75005 Paris, France.


Different signal transduction cascades have been implicated in angiotensin II (Ang II)-mediated cell growth, such as the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways. To identify the downstream targets of PI3K involved in Ang II-induced proliferation, we used both rat aortic smooth muscle (RASM) cells and a CHO cell line stably expressing the rat AT1A receptor. The ERK1/2 and PI3K pathways are independently activated and implicated in Ang II-mediated DNA synthesis and cell number increase in these 2 cell lines. In addition, a specific inhibitor of Akt inhibited Ang II-induced Akt phosphorylation, DNA synthesis and proliferation in CHO-AT1A or RASM cells. A dominant-negative mutant of Akt was also found to selectively block Ang II-induced proliferation of CHO-AT1A cells. To further elucidate the signaling events leading to Akt activation, we used an AT1 receptor mutant (AT1AD74E), deficient for Gq protein coupling, and the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA-AM. Although altered Akt and ERK1/2 activation was observed in the CHO-AT1AD74E cell line, blockade of intracellular calcium elevation did not affect phosphorylation of these kinases. These results provide the first evidence of a specific and necessary role of Akt in Ang II-induced proliferation through a Gq protein-dependent calcium-independent pathway.

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