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J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 14;275(15):10761-6.

Akt/protein kinase B up-regulates Bcl-2 expression through cAMP-response element-binding protein.

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Department of Endocrinology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


In our previous study we showed that insulin-like growth factor-I induces a cAMP-response element (CRE) site-containing Bcl-2 promoter through a novel signaling pathway involving mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 6/p38beta mitogen-activated protein kinase/MAP kinase-activated protein kinase-3/cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) (Pugazhenthi, S., Miller, E., Sable, C., Young, P., Heidenreich, K. A., Boxer, L. M., and Reusch, J. E.-B. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 27529-27535). In the present investigation, we define a second pathway contributing to CREB-dependent up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression as a novel anti-apoptotic function of Akt signaling. To examine the role of Akt on Bcl-2 expression, a series of transient transfections using a luciferase reporter gene driven by the promoter region of Bcl-2 containing a CRE were carried out. Pharmacological inhibition of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase, the upstream kinase of Akt, with LY294002 led to a 45% decrease in Bcl-2 promoter activity. The reporter activity was enhanced 2.3-fold by overexpression of active p110 subunit of PI 3-kinase and inhibited 44% by the dominant negative p85 subunit of PI 3-kinase. Cotransfection with 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase (PDK1), which is required for the full activation of Akt, resulted in enhanced luciferase activity. Insulin-like growth factor-I-mediated induction of Bcl-2 promoter activity was decreased significantly (p < 0.01) by the dominant negative forms of p85 subunit of PI 3-kinase, PDK1, and Akt. These data indicate that regulation of Bcl-2 expression by IGF-I involves a signaling cascade mediated by PI 3-kinase/PDK1/Akt/CREB. Furthermore, we measured the Bcl-2 mRNA in PC12 cells overexpressing Akt by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using the TaqMan(TM) fluorogenic probe system. We observed a 2.1-fold increase in Bcl-2 mRNA levels in the Akt cell line compared with control PC12 cells, supporting the observation that enhanced CREB activity by Akt signaling leads to increased Bcl-2 promoter activity and cell survival.

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