Akt as a mediator of cell death

Hongbo R. Luo, Hidenori Hattori, Mir Ahamed Hossain, Lynda Hester, Yunfei Huang, Whaseon Lee-Kwon, Mark Donowitz, Eiichiro Nagata, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Protein kinase B/Akt possesses prosurvival and antiapoptotic activities and is involved in growth factor-mediated neuronal protection. In this study we establish Akt deactivation as a causal mediator of cell death. Akt deactivation occurs in multiple models of cell death including N-methyl-D-aspartate excitotoxicity, vascular stroke, and nitric oxide (NO)- and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-elicited death of HeLa, PC12, and Jurkat T cells. Akt deactivation characterizes both caspase-dependent and -independent cell death. Conditions rescuing cell death, such as treatment with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase or NO synthase inhibitors and preconditioning with sublethal concentrations of N-methyl-D-aspartate, restore Akt activity. Infection of neurons with adenovirus expressing constitutively active Akt prevents excitotoxicity, whereas phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitors or infection with dominant negative Akt induce death of untreated neuronal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11712-11717
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 30 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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