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Front Oncol. 2013 Apr 12;3:85. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00085. eCollection 2013.

Role of PI3K-AKT-mTOR and Wnt Signaling Pathways in Transition of G1-S Phase of Cell Cycle in Cancer Cells.

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Department of Zoology, Kakatiya University Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, India.


The PI3K-Akt pathway together with one of its downstream targets, the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR; also known as the mammalian target of rapamycin) is a highly deregulated pathway in cancers. mTOR exists in two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. Akt phosphorylated at T308 inhibits TSC1/2 complex to activate mTORC1; mTORC2 is recognized as the kinase phosphorylating Akt at S473. Inhibition of autophagy by mTORC1 was shown to rescue disheveled (Dvl) leading to activation of Wnt pathway. Cyclin D1 and the c-Myc are activated by the Wnt signaling. Cyclin D1 is a key player in initiation of cell cycle. c-Myc triggers metabolic reprograming in G1 phase of cell cycle, which also activates the transcription factors like FoxO and p53 that play key roles in promoting the progression of cell cycle. While the role of p53 in cancer cell metabolism in arresting glycolysis and inhibition of pentose phosphate pathway has come to be recognized, there are confusions in the literature on the role of FoxO and that of rictor. FoxO was shown to be the transcription factor of rictor, in addition to the cell cycle inhibitors like p21. Rictor has dual roles; inhibition of c-Myc and constitution of mTORC2, both of which are key factors in the exit of G1-S phase and entry into G2 phase of cell cycle. A model is presented in this article, which suggests that the PI3K-Akt-mTOR and Wnt pathways converge and regulate the progression of cell cycle through G0-G1-S-phases and reprogram the metabolism in cancer cells. This model is different from the conventional method of looking at individual pathways triggering the cell cycle.


G1-S; Wnt; autophagy; cell cycle; mTORC1

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