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J Biol Chem. 1999 Aug 20;274(34):24263-9.

Phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K) and PKB/Akt delay the onset of p53-mediated, transcriptionally dependent apoptosis.

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Cancer Research Institute, University of California, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California 94143-0128, USA.


The phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K)-PKB/Akt signaling pathway has been shown to mediate both Ras- and cytokine-induced protection from apoptosis. In addition, apoptosis induced by the p53 tumor suppressor protein can be inhibited by Ras- and cytokine-mediated signaling pathways. It was therefore of interest to determine if the PI3K-PKB/Akt signaling pathway was capable of conferring protection from apoptosis induced by p53. We demonstrate in this report that constitutively active PI3K and PKB/Akt are capable of significantly delaying the onset of p53-mediated apoptosis. This was manifested as a delay in the kinetics of DNA degradation and cell death as well as a profound attenuation in the accumulation of cells with a sub-G(1) DNA content. Moreover, we found that this effect is mediated in the absence of changes in expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-Xl, and the pro-apoptotic protein Bax. Our results provide the first direct and unambiguous link between p53-mediated apoptosis and the PI3K-PKB/Akt signaling pathway.

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