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Oncogene. 2001 Jul 19;20(32):4419-23.

Oncogenic transformation induced by membrane-targeted Akt2 and Akt3.

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Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California CA 92037, USA.


The kinases Akt2, Akt3 and their myristylated variants, Myr-Akt2 and Myr-Akt3 were expressed by the RCAS vector in chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF). Myr-Akt2 and Myr-Akt3 were strongly oncogenic, inducing multilayered foci of transformed cells. In contrast, wild-type Akt2 and Akt3 were only poorly transforming, their efficiencies of focus formation were more than 100-fold lower; foci appeared later and showed less multilayering. Addition of the myristylation signal not only enhanced oncogenic potential but also increased kinase activities. Myr-Akt2 and Myr-Akt3 also induced hemangiosarcomas in the animal, whereas wild type Akt2 and Akt3 were not oncogenic in vivo. Furthermore, Akt2, driven by the lck (lymphocyte specific kinase) promoter in transgenic mice, induced lymphomas. The oncogenic effects of Akt2 and Akt3 described here are indistinguishable from those of Akt1. The downstream targets relevant to oncogenic transformation are therefore probably shared by the three Akt kinases.

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