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Oncogene. 1998 Dec 3;17(22):2811-8.

The opposing roles of the Akt and c-Myc signalling pathways in survival from CD95-mediated apoptosis.

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Biochemistry of the Cell Nucleus Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.


Expression of the proto-oncogene c-myc stimulates cell proliferation in the presence of the appropriate survival factors and triggers apoptosis in their absence; this dual capacity ensures that cell growth is restricted to the correct paracrine environment and is thereby strictly controlled. Recently our laboratory demonstrated that c-Myc-induced apoptosis requires the CD95 death receptor pathway and that insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) signalling suppresses this killing. To investigate further the links between c-Myc and IGF-1 pathways in CD95-induced apoptosis, we examined the effects of c-Myc and a downstream IGF-1 survival kinase, Akt, on killing mediated by CD95 and its recruited effector proteins (FADD and caspase-8). Here, we show that c-Myc activation does not exacerbate killing induced by FADD or pro-caspase-8, which narrows the point at which c-Myc exerts its action downstream of the interaction of CD95 with its ligand and upstream of FADD. We show further that activated Akt suppresses CD95-induced apoptosis and that Akt exerts its activity at a point downstream of FADD but upstream of caspase-8. These results restrict the possible mechanisms by which CD95-induced apoptosis is modulated by death signals and survival factors.

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