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Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Sep;16(9):461-6. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Functional distinctions of protein kinase B/Akt isoforms defined by their influence on cell migration.

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Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M9, Canada.


The three mammalian members of the protein kinase B/Akt (PKB/Akt) family have been implicated in a plethora of cellular signaling processes with key functions in control of cellular metabolism, growth, proliferation and apoptosis. As a major target of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase signaling, the PKB/Akt isoforms also have central roles in a variety of human cancers, with effects on tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. It has been shown that isoform-specific functions of PKB/Akt family members can contribute to tumorigenesis on multiple levels. A series of recent studies documents the isoform-specific functions of PKB/Akt family members in regulation of cellular motility and migration by influencing numerous cellular targets involved in organization of the actin cytoskeleton, cellular interaction with the extracellular matrix, expression of motility genes and establishment of cellular polarity. A thorough insight into the isoform-specific roles of PKB/Akt proteins is essential for a full understanding of the complex biological outcomes elicited by PI 3-kinase and PKB/Akt signaling.

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