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Nat Med. 2007 Sep;13(9):1114-9. Epub 2007 Aug 12.

Molecular imaging of Akt kinase activity.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


The serine/threonine kinase Akt mediates mitogenic and anti-apoptotic responses that result from activation of multiple signaling cascades. It is considered a key determinant of tumor aggressiveness and is a major target for anticancer drug development. Here, we describe a new reporter molecule whose bioluminescence activity within live cells and in mice can be used to measure Akt activity. Akt activity in cultured cells and tumor xenografts was monitored quantitatively and dynamically in response to activation or inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinase, inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, or direct inhibition of Akt. The results provide unique insights into the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of agents that modulate Akt activity, revealing the usefulness of this reporter for rapid dose and schedule optimization in the drug development process.

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