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J Biol Chem. 1998 Feb 27;273(9):5315-22.

Potential role of protein kinase B in insulin-induced glucose transport, glycogen synthesis, and protein synthesis.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan.


Various biological responses stimulated by insulin have been thought to be regulated by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, including glucose transport, glycogen synthesis, and protein synthesis. However, the molecular link between phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and these biological responses has been poorly understood. Recently, it has been shown that protein kinase B (PKB/c-Akt/Rac) lies immediately downstream from phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Here, we show that expression of a constitutively active form of PKB induced glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis, and protein synthesis in L6 myotubes downstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and independent of Ras and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. Introduction of constitutively active PKB induced glucose uptake and protein synthesis but not glycogen synthesis in 3T3L-1 adipocytes, which lack expression of glycogen synthase kinase 3 different from L6 myotubes. Furthermore, we show that deactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 and activation of rapamycin-sensitive serine/threonine kinase by PKB in L6 myotubes might be involved in the enhancement of glycogen synthesis and protein synthesis, respectively. These results suggest that PKB acts as a key enzyme linking phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation to multiple biological functions of insulin through regulation of downstream kinases in skeletal muscle, a major target tissue of insulin.

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