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J Biol Chem. 2007 Oct 5;282(40):29584-93. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase-independent non-genomic signals transit from the androgen receptor to Akt1 in membrane raft microdomains.

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  • 1Urological Diseases Research Center, Departments of Urology, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The serine-threonine kinase, Akt1/protein kinase Balpha is an important mediator of growth, survival, and metabolic signaling. Recent studies have implicated cholesterol-rich, lipid raft microdomains in survival signals mediated by Akt1. Here we address the role of lipid raft membranes as a potential site of intersection of androgenic and Akt1 signaling. A subpopulation of androgen receptor (AR) was found to localize to a lipid raft subcellular compartment in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Endogenous AR interacted with endogenous Akt1 preferentially in lipid raft fractions and androgen substantially enhanced the interaction between the two proteins. The association of AR with Akt1 was inhibited by the anti-androgen, bicalutamide, but was not affected by inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Androgen promoted endogenous Akt1 activity in lipid raft fractions, in a PI3K-independent manner, within 10 min of treatment. Fusion of a lipid raft targeting sequence to AR enhanced localization of the receptor to rafts, and stimulated Akt1 activity in response to androgen, while reducing the cells' dependence on constitutive signaling through PI3K for cell survival. These findings suggest that signals channeled through AR and Akt1 intersect by a mechanism involving formation within lipid raft membranes of an androgen-responsive, extranuclear AR/Akt1 complex. Our results indicate that cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains play a role in transmitting non-genomic signals involving androgen and the Akt pathway in prostate cancer cells.

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