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Clin Cancer Res. 2001 Aug;7(8):2475-9.

AKT-1, -2, and -3 are expressed in both normal and tumor tissues of the lung, breast, prostate, and colon.

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  • 1Cancer Research Division, Lilly Research Labs, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center DC 0546, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA.



The AKT/PKB kinase controls many of the intracellular processes that are dysregulated in human cancer, including the suppression of apoptosis and anoikis and the induction of cell cycle progression. Three isoforms of AKT have been identified: AKT-1, -2, and -3. Selective up-regulation of AKT-3 RNA expression has been reported in hormone-independent breast and prostate cancer cell lines suggesting that AKT-3 expression may be increased with breast or prostate tumor progression. To determine whether AKT-3 RNA expression is selectively up-regulated in human cancers and whether the patterns of AKT RNA expression may change with tumor development, we examined AKT isoform expression by RT-PCR in human cancer cell lines, primary human cancers, and normal human tissues.


AKT-1, -2, and -3 RNA expression was examined by RT-PCR. Because up-regulated AKT-3 expression has been implicated in human breast and prostate cancer progression, we also examined AKT-3 expression levels by semiquantitative RT-PCR using matched normal/tumor first-strand cDNA pairs from colon, breast, prostate, and lung cancers.


Our data reveal that the overwhelming majority of both normal and tumor tissues express all three of the AKT isoforms. Moreover, semiquantitative RT-PCR of matched normal/tumor pairs confirmed similar AKT-3 RNA expression levels in both normal and tumor tissue.


Our data show that both normal and tumor tissues express all three of the AKT isoforms and indicate that tumorigenesis does not involve a dramatic shift in the RNA expression patterns of the three AKT isoforms.

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