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Exp Cell Res. 1999 Nov 25;253(1):210-29.

The regulation and activities of the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 60607, USA.


The serine/threonine kinase Akt, or protein kinase B (PKB), has recently been a focus of intense research. It appears that Akt/PKB lies in the crossroads of multiple cellular signaling pathways and acts as a transducer of many functions initiated by growth factor receptors that activate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase). Akt/PKB is particularly important in mediating several metabolic actions of insulin. Another major activity of Akt/PKB is to mediate cell survival. In addition, the recent discovery of the tumor suppressor PTEN as an antagonist of PI 3-kinase and Akt/PKB kinase activity suggests that Akt/PKB is a critical factor in the genesis of cancer. Thus, elucidation of the mechanisms of Akt/PKB regulation and its physiological functions should be important for the understanding of cellular metabolism, apoptosis, and cancer.

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