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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jan 6;417(1):570-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.12.007. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Oleanane triterpenoid CDDO-Me inhibits Akt activity without affecting PDK1 kinase or PP2A phosphatase activity in cancer cells.

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Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Our previous studies have shown that methyl-2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oate (CDDO-Me), a oleanane synthetic triterpenoid induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells by inhibiting the Akt/NF-κB/mTOR signaling cascade; however, the mechanism by which CDDO-Me inhibits Akt/NF-κB/mTOR signaling has remained undetermined. Present studies show that Akt plays a critical role in the response of prostate cancer cells to CDDO-Me. Silencing of Akt sensitized PC-3 cells to CDDO-Me, whereas its overexpression rendered them resistant to CDDO-Me. Evaluation of the effect of CDDO-Me on Akt which lies upstream of NF-κB and mTOR showed that CDDO-Me directly inhibits the Akt kinase activity in cell-free kinase activity assay and in vivo without modulating the activity of PDK1, the upstream kinase that phosphorylates and activates Akt. The inhibition of Akt activity resulted in inhibition of phosphorylation/inactivation of proapoptotic procaspase-9, Bad and Foxo3a. Further, inhibition of p-Akt by CDDO-Me was not attributable to an increase in the activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) or PH domain/leucine-rich repeat protein phosphatase1 (PHLPP1) both of which dephosphorylate p-Akt. These findings show that Akt is a direct target of CDDO-Me in the Akt/NF-κB/mTOR prosurvival signaling axis.

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