Gene Summary

Gene:AKT3; AKT serine/threonine kinase 3
Aliases: MPPH, PKBG, MPPH2, PRKBG, STK-2, PKB-GAMMA, RAC-gamma, RAC-PK-gamma
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the AKT, also called PKB, serine/threonine protein kinase family. AKT kinases are known to be regulators of cell signaling in response to insulin and growth factors. They are involved in a wide variety of biological processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis, as well as glycogen synthesis and glucose uptake. This kinase has been shown to be stimulated by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Alternatively splice transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:RAC-gamma serine/threonine-protein kinase
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cell Survival
  • RNA Interference
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Phosphorylation
  • AKT1
  • PTEN
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Drug Resistance
  • Skin Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Vietnam
  • Western Blotting
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mutation
  • Risk Factors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Apoptosis
  • MicroRNAs
  • Chromosome 1
  • Messenger RNA
  • Disease Progression
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • siRNA
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • Transcription Factors
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Taxoids
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Melanoma
  • Cell Movement
  • Tumor Burden
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1
  • p53 Protein
  • Cell Proliferation
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: AKT3 (cancer-related)

Pallavicini G, Berto GE, Di Cunto F
Precision Revisited: Targeting Microcephaly Kinases in Brain Tumors.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme and medulloblastoma are the most frequent high-grade brain tumors in adults and children, respectively. Standard therapies for these cancers are mainly based on surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. However, intrinsic or acquired resistance to treatment occurs almost invariably in the first case, and side effects are unacceptable in the second. Therefore, the development of new, effective drugs is a very important unmet medical need. A critical requirement for developing such agents is to identify druggable targets required for the proliferation or survival of tumor cells, but not of other cell types. Under this perspective, genes mutated in congenital microcephaly represent interesting candidates. Congenital microcephaly comprises a heterogeneous group of disorders in which brain volume is reduced, in the absence or presence of variable syndromic features. Genetic studies have clarified that most microcephaly genes encode ubiquitous proteins involved in mitosis and in maintenance of genomic stability, but the effects of their inactivation are particularly strong in neural progenitors. It is therefore conceivable that the inhibition of the function of these genes may specifically affect the proliferation and survival of brain tumor cells. Microcephaly genes encode for a few kinases, including CITK, PLK4, AKT3, DYRK1A, and TRIO. In this review, we summarize the evidence indicating that the inhibition of these molecules could exert beneficial effects on different aspects of brain cancer treatment.

Huang X, Li Z, Zhang Q, et al.
Circular RNA AKT3 upregulates PIK3R1 to enhance cisplatin resistance in gastric cancer via miR-198 suppression.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cisplatin (CDDP) treatment is one of the most predominant chemotherapeutic strategies for patients with gastric cancer (GC). A better understanding of the mechanisms of CDDP resistance can greatly improve therapeutic efficacy in patients with GC. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs whose functions are related to the pathogenesis of cancer, but, in CDDP resistance of GC remains unknown.
METHODS: circAKT3 (hsa_circ_0000199, a circRNA originating from exons 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the AKT3 gene) was identified by RNA sequencing and verified by quantitative reverse transcription PCR. The role of circAKT3 in CDDP resistance in GC was assessed both in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase reporter assay, biotin-coupled RNA pull-down and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were conducted to evaluate the interaction between circAKT3 and miR-198. Functional experiments were measured by western blotting, a cytotoxicity assay, clonogenic assay and flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The expression of circAKT3 was higher in CDDP-resistant GC tissues and cells than in CDDP-sensitive samples. The upregulation of circAKT3 in GC patients receiving CDDP therapy was significantly associated with aggressive characteristics and was an independent risk factor for disease-free survival (DFS). Our data indicated that circAKT3 promotes DNA damage repair and inhibits the apoptosis of GC cells in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, we verified that circAKT3 could promote PIK3R1 expression by sponging miR-198.
CONCLUSIONS: circAKT3 plays an important role in the resistance of GC to CDDP. Thus, our results highlight the potential of circAKT3 as a therapeutic target for GC patients receiving CDDP therapy.

Li Z, Yu D, Li H, et al.
Long non‑coding RNA UCA1 confers tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer endocrinotherapy through regulation of the EZH2/p21 axis and the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(3):1033-1042 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tamoxifen is the gold standard for breast cancer endocrinotherapy. However, drug resistance remains a major limiting factor of tamoxifen treatment. Long non‑coding (lnc) RNA serves an important role in drug resistance; however, the molecular mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer endocrinotherapy are largely unclear. lncRNA urothelial cancer associated 1 (lncRNA UCA1, UCA1) has been proven to be dysregulated in human breast cancer and promotes cancer progression. In the present study, it was demonstrated that UCA1 was significantly upregulated in breast cancer tissues compared with healthy tissues. Furthermore, the expression level of UCA1 was significantly greater in tamoxifen‑resistant breast cancer cells (LCC2 and LCC9) when compared with those in the tamoxifen‑sensitive breast cancer cells (MCF‑7 and T47D). UCA1 silencing in LLC2 and LLC9 cells increased tamoxifen drug sensitivity by promoting cell apoptosis and arresting the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. Notably, the induced overexpression of UCA1 in MCF‑7 and T47D cells decreased the drug sensitivity of tamoxifen. The molecular mechanism involved in UCA1‑induced tamoxifen‑resistance was also investigated. It was identified that UCA1 was physically associated with the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), which suppressed the expression of p21 through histone methylation (H3K27me3) on the p21 promoter. In addition, it was demonstrated that UCA1 expression was paralleled to the phosphorylation of CAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) and AKT. When LCC2 cells were treated with the phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway inhibitor LY294002, the phosphorylation levels of CREB and AKT were significantly downregulated. Taken together, it was concluded that UCA1 regulates the EZH2/p21 axis and the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in breast cancer, and may be a potential therapeutic target for solving tamoxifen resistance.

Liang Y, Zhang C, Ma MH, Dai DQ
Identification and prediction of novel non-coding and coding RNA-associated competing endogenous RNA networks in colorectal cancer.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(46):5259-5270 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To identify and predict the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks in colorectal cancer (CRC) by bioinformatics analysis.
METHODS: In the present study, we obtained CRC tissue and normal tissue gene expression profiles from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. Differentially expressed (DE) genes (DEGs) were identified. Then, upregulated and downregulated miRNA-centered ceRNA networks were constructed by analyzing the DEGs using multiple bioinformatics approaches. DEmRNAs in the ceRNA networks were identified in Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways using KEGG Orthology Based Annotation System 3.0. The interactions between proteins were analyzed using the STRING database. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was conducted for DEGs and real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was also performed to validate the prognosis-associated lncRNAs in CRC cell lines.
RESULTS: Eighty-one DElncRNAs, 20 DEmiRNAs, and 54 DEmRNAs were identified to construct the ceRNA networks of CRC. The KEGG pathway analysis indicated that nine out of top ten pathways were related with cancer and the most significant pathway was "colorectal cancer". Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the overall survival was positively associated with five DEGs (IGF2-AS, POU6F2-AS2, hsa-miR-32, hsa-miR-141, and SERPINE1) and it was negatively related to three DEGs (LINC00488, hsa-miR-375, and PHLPP2). Based on the STRING protein database, it was found that SERPINE1 and PHLPP2 interact with AKT1. Besides, SERPINE1 can interact with VEGFA, VTN, TGFB1, PLAU, PLAUR, PLG, and PLAT. PHLPP2 can interact with AKT2 and AKT3. RT-qPCR revealed that the expression of IGF2-AS, POU6F2-AS2, and LINC00488 in CRC cell lines was consistent with the
CONCLUSION: CeRNA networks play an important role in CRC. Multiple DEGs are related with clinical prognosis, suggesting that they may be potential targets in tumor diagnosis and treatment.

Ishaque N, Abba ML, Hauser C, et al.
Whole genome sequencing puts forward hypotheses on metastasis evolution and therapy in colorectal cancer.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4782 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Incomplete understanding of the metastatic process hinders personalized therapy. Here we report the most comprehensive whole-genome study of colorectal metastases vs. matched primary tumors. 65% of somatic mutations originate from a common progenitor, with 15% being tumor- and 19% metastasis-specific, implicating a higher mutation rate in metastases. Tumor- and metastasis-specific mutations harbor elevated levels of BRCAness. We confirm multistage progression with new components ARHGEF7/ARHGEF33. Recurrently mutated non-coding elements include ncRNAs RP11-594N15.3, AC010091, SNHG14, 3' UTRs of FOXP2, DACH2, TRPM3, XKR4, ANO5, CBL, CBLB, the latter four potentially dual protagonists in metastasis and efferocytosis-/PD-L1 mediated immunosuppression. Actionable metastasis-specific lesions include FAT1, FGF1, BRCA2, KDR, and AKT2-, AKT3-, and PDGFRA-3' UTRs. Metastasis specific mutations are enriched in PI3K-Akt signaling, cell adhesion, ECM and hepatic stellate activation genes, suggesting genetic programs for site-specific colonization. Our results put forward hypotheses on tumor and metastasis evolution, and evidence for metastasis-specific events relevant for personalized therapy.

Christodoulou C, Oikonomopoulos G, Koliou GA, et al.
Evaluation of the Insulin-like Growth Factor Receptor Pathway in Patients with Advanced Breast Cancer Treated with Trastuzumab.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2018 Nov-Dec; 15(6):461-471 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody against HER2-positive breast cancer. Despite improving the natural history of the disease, there is a number of patients who are resistant to it, whereas all patients will eventually develop resistance and disease will progress. Inconsistent preclinical data show that the IGF-R pathway may contribute to either de novo or acquired resistance to trastuzumab.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In total, 227 trastuzumab-treated metastatic breast cancer patients were evaluated for IGF-1, IGF-1R, GLP-1R, Akt1, Akt2 Akt3 mRNA expression, and IGF-1Rα, IGF-1Rβ, IGF-2R protein expression.
RESULTS: Only 139 patients were truly HER2-positive by central assessment. Among HER2-positive patients, high Akt2 and GLP-1R mRNA expression showed a trend towards higher and lower risk of progression, respectively (HR=1.83, 95%CI=0.90-3.72, p=0.094 and HR=0.62, 95%CI=0.36-1.06, p=0.079), while high Akt1 and GLP-1R mRNA expression presented a trend towards unfavorable survival (HR=1.67, 95%CI=0.93-2.99, p=0.086 and HR=1.67, 95%CI=0.94-2.96, p=0.080). Among HER2-negative patients, high GLP-1R mRNA expression and negative stromal IGF-1Rβ protein expression showed a trend towards worse survival (HR=2.31, 95%CI=0.87-6.13, p=0.094 and HR=2.03, 95%CI=0.94-4.35, p=0.071, respectively). In the multivariate analyses, HER2-positive patients with high Akt1 and GLP-1R mRNA expression had a worse survival (HR=1.86, 95%CI=1.01-3.43, p=0.045 and HR=1.83, 95%CI=0.99-3.41, p=0.055, respectively).
CONCLUSION: This study revealed a crosstalk between the IGF-R pathway and HER2. There was evidence that high Akt1 and GLP-1R mRNA expression might affect survival among HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab.

Fragoso MF, Romualdo GR, Vanderveer LA, et al.
Lyophilized açaí pulp (Euterpe oleracea Mart) attenuates colitis-associated colon carcinogenesis while its main anthocyanin has the potential to affect the motility of colon cancer cells.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2018; 121:237-245 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study evaluated the possible protective effects of lyophilized açaí pulp (AP) in a colitis-associated carcinogenesis (CAC) rat model and the modifying effect of cyanidin 3-rutinoside (C3R) on the motility of RKO colon adenocarcinoma cells, using the wound healing assay. Male Wistar rats were induced to develop CAC using 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) and 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene acid (TNBS). Animals were randomly assigned to different groups that received basal diet or basal diet supplemented with 5.0% or 7.5% lyophilized AP. The findings indicate: 1) C3R (25 μM) has the potential to reduce RKO cell motility in vitro; 2) ingestion of lyophilized AP reduces the total number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF), ACF multiplicity, tumor cell proliferation and incidence of tumors with high grade dysplasia; 3) AP increases the gene expression of negative regulators of cell proliferation such as Dlc1 and Akt3, as well as inflammation (Ppara). Thus, lyophilized AP could exert a potential antitumor activity.

Li QY, Chen L, Hu N, Zhao H
Long non-coding RNA FEZF1-AS1 promotes cell growth in multiple myeloma via miR-610/Akt3 axis.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 103:1727-1732 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing evidence showed that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in tumor progression. FEZF1-AS1 is a cancer-associated lncRNA which upregulated and associated with poor prognosis in patients with cancer. However, the roles of FEZF1-AS1 in multiple myeloma (MM) remains unclear. In the present study, our data revealed that FEZF1-AS1 expression was increased both in MM samples and cell lines. Loss of functional assays indicated that FEZF1-AS1 suppression inhibited MM cells proliferation, arrested cell cycle in G0/G1 phase and induced cell apoptosis in vitro. Furthermore, our data indicated that FEZF1-AS1 functioned as a competing endogenous RNA in MM cells that regulated miR-610 expression, which suppressed Akt3. Those data showed that FEZF1-AS1 promoted MM cells proliferation through regulating miR-610/Akt3 axis, suggesting FEZF1-AS1 could be served as a potential target for cancer therapeutics in MM.

Chen L, Yang L, Yao L, et al.
Characterization of PIK3CA and PIK3R1 somatic mutations in Chinese breast cancer patients.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):1357 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deregulation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway contributes to the development and progression of tumors. Here, we determine that somatic mutations in PIK3CA (44%), PIK3R1 (17%), AKT3 (15%), and PTEN (12%) are prevalent and diverse in Chinese breast cancer patients, with 60 novel mutations identified. A high proportion of tumors harbors multiple mutations, especially PIK3CA plus PIK3R1 mutations (9.0%). Next, we develop a recombination-based mutation barcoding (ReMB) library for impactful mutations conferring clonal advantage in proliferation and drug responses. The highest-ranking PIK3CA and PIK3R1 mutations include previously reported deleterious mutations, as well as mutations with unknown significance. These PIK3CA and PIK3R1 impactful mutations exhibit a mutually exclusive pattern, leading to oncogenesis and hyperactivity of PI3K pathway. The PIK3CA impactful mutations are tightly associated with hormone receptor positivity. Collectively, these findings advance our understanding of PI3K impactful mutations in breast cancer and have important implications for PI3K-targeted therapy in precision oncology.

Bomben R, Ferrero S, D'Agaro T, et al.
A B-cell receptor-related gene signature predicts survival in mantle cell lymphoma: results from the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi MCL-0208 trial.
Haematologica. 2018; 103(5):849-856 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mantle cell lymphoma patients have variable clinical courses, ranging from indolent cases that do not require immediate treatment to aggressive, rapidly progressing diseases. Thus, diagnostic tools capable of stratifying patients according to their risk of relapse and death are needed. This study included 83 samples from the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi MCL-0208 clinical trial. Through gene expression profiling and quantitative real-time PCR we analyzed 46 peripheral blood and 43 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lymph node samples. A prediction model to classify patients was developed. By analyzing the transcriptome of 27 peripheral blood samples, two subgroups characterized by a differential expression of genes from the B-cell receptor pathway (B-cell receptor

Bowers LW, Rossi EL, McDonell SB, et al.
Leptin Signaling Mediates Obesity-Associated CSC Enrichment and EMT in Preclinical TNBC Models.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(5):869-879 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Obesity is associated with poor prognosis in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Preclinical models of TNBC were used to test the hypothesis that increased leptin signaling drives obesity-associated TNBC development by promoting cancer stem cell (CSC) enrichment and/or epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic mice, which develop spontaneous basal-like, triple-negative mammary tumors, received either a control diet (10% kcal from fat) or a diet-induced obesity regimen (DIO, 60% kcal from fat) for up to 42 weeks (

Yu Y, Dai M, Lu A, et al.
PHLPP1 mediates melanoma metastasis suppression through repressing AKT2 activation.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(17):2225-2236 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PI3K/AKT pathway activation is thought to be a driving force in metastatic melanomas. Members of the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain leucine-rich repeat protein Ser/Thr specific phosphatase family (PHLPP1 and PHLPP2) can regulate AKT activation. By dephosphorylating specific serine residues in the hydrophobic motif, PHLPP1 and PHLPP2 restrain AKT signalings, thereby regulating cell proliferation and survival. We here show that PHLPP1 expression was significantly downregulated or lost and correlated with metastatic potential in melanoma. Forcing expression of either PHLPP1 or PHLPP2 in melanoma cells inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and colony formation in soft agar; but PHLPP1 had the most profound inhibitory effect on metastasis. Moreover, expression of PH mutant forms of PHLPP1 continued to inhibit metastasis, whereas a phosphatase-dead C-terminal mutant did not. The introduction of activated PHLPP1-specific targets AKT2 or AKT3 also promoted melanoma metastasis, while the non-PHLPP1 target AKT1 did not. AKT2 and AKT3 could even rescue the PHLPP1-mediated inhibition of metastasis. An AKT inhibitor blocked the activity of AKT2 and inhibited AKT2-mediated tumor growth and metastasis in a preclinical mouse model. Our data demonstrate that PHLPP1 functions as a metastasis suppressor through its phosphatase activity, and suggest that PHLPP1 represents a novel diagnostic and therapeutic marker for metastatic melanoma.

Wu SJ, Chen J, Wu B, et al.
MicroRNA-150 enhances radiosensitivity by inhibiting the AKT pathway in NK/T cell lymphoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radioresistance is a major challenge during the treatment of NK/T cell lymphoma. This study aimed to investigate the potential role of MicroRNA-150 (miR-150) in increase the sensitivities of NK/T cell lymphoma to ionizing radiation.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that miR-150 was significantly decreased in NK/T cell lymphoma tissues and cell lines. Low expression of miR-150 was positively associated with therapeutic resistance in 36 NK/T cell lymphoma cases. Our further in vitro and in vivo studies illustrated that overexpression of miR-150 substantially enhanced the sensitivity of NK/T cell lymphoma cells to ionizing radiation treatment. Furthermore, luciferase reporter assays in NK/T cell lymphoma cells transfected with the AKT2 or AKT3 three prime untranslated region reporter constructs established AKT2 and AKT3 as direct targets of miR-150. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 was used to inhibit Akt to verify miR-150 increase NK/T cell lymphoma cell radiorsensitivity through suppress the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, this study demonstrates that miR-150 might serve as a potential therapeutic sensitizer through inhibition of the AKT pathway in NK/T cell lymphoma treatment.

Qi L, Sun K, Zhuang Y, et al.
Study on the association between PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway gene polymorphism and susceptibility to gastric cancer.
J BUON. 2017 Nov-Dec; 22(6):1488-1493 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Excessive activation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway is one of the most common changes in human cancers, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) existing in its functional region can affect the occurrence process of a variety of cancers. This study aimed to screen out the SNPs associated with susceptibility to gastric cancer in the PI3K/AKT/mT0R signaling pathway.
METHODS: In this case-control study, the tagging SNPs in the promoter region5'-UTR, exon region or 3'-UTR of PIK3CA, PIK3CB, PIK3R1, PIK3R2, PIK3R3, AKT1, AKT2, AKT3 and mTOR genes were screened out. The relationship between the genetic variation of PI3K/AKT/mT0R signaling pathway genes and the susceptibility to gastric cancer in Chinese Han population was investigated by this casecontrol study.
RESULTS: The results showed that the polymorphisms of the two loci, PIK3R3 rs7536272 (Additive model: OR=1.16, 95% CI=1.01-1.35) and mTOR rs2295080 (GG vs TT: OR=0.75, 95% CI=0.60-0.94; Additive model: OR=0.78, 95% CI=0.66- 0.93), were associated with the risk of gastric cancer in the studied population and there was a combined effect between the two loci (ptrend=0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the polymorphisms of the two loci, PIK3R3 rs7536272 and mTOR rs2295080, on the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway genes are associated with genetic susceptibility to gastric cancer in Chinese population.

Matissek KJ, Onozato ML, Sun S, et al.
Expressed Gene Fusions as Frequent Drivers of Poor Outcomes in Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer.
Cancer Discov. 2018; 8(3):336-353 [PubMed] Related Publications
We sought to uncover genetic drivers of hormone receptor-positive (HR

Jin Y, Tao LP, Yao SC, et al.
MicroRNA-582-5p suppressed gastric cancer cell proliferation via targeting AKT3.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(22):5112-5120 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To dissect the functioning mode of miR-582-5p on gastric cancer cell growth and provide therapeutic targets for gastric cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Relative expression levels of miR-582-5p in human gastric cancer tissue samples and gastric cancer-derived cell lines were measured by using quantitative Real-time PCR. Cell proliferation and viability capacities were assessed by cell counting kit-8 (CCK8) assay and colony formation assay. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were identified by flow cytometry. Downstream target gene was confirmed by using luciferase and Western blotting assays.
RESULTS: MiR-582-5p was downregulated in gastric cancer tissues when compared with para-carcinoma tissues (n=42). Overexpressed miR-582-5p could attenuate cell proliferation and viability capacities, as well as promoted cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. AKT3 was chosen as the target gene of miR-582-5p by bioinformatics analysis and luciferase reporter assay. Moreover, restoration of AKT3 could impair tumor suppression role of miR-582-5p on gastric cancer growth.
CONCLUSIONS: MiR-582-5p exerted tumor-suppressive effects on gastric cancer growth via targeting AKT3 in vitro, which provided an innovative and candidate target for diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer.

Honardoost M, Rad SMAH
Triangle of AKT2, miRNA, and Tumorigenesis in Different Cancers.
Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2018; 185(2):524-540 [PubMed] Related Publications
AKT (AK mouse plus Transforming or Thymoma) is a frequent oncogene expressed in most tissues which includes three isoforms AKT1, AKT2, and AKT3. Hyperactivation of AKT signaling is a central key in many human cancer progressions, through modulating angiogenesis, tumor growth, and cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and chemoresistance. Among all three isoforms, AKT2 is most related to cancer cell invasion, metastasis, and survival. Amplification and overexpression of AKT2 have been shown in many cancers. Accumulating evidence shows the potential role of different miRNA involvements in cancer progression by activating or suppressing AKT2 expression. In an in-depth literature review, we focus on the role of AKT2 activation and its consequences on the tumor progression in different cancers. In addition, we describe the function of numerous AKT2-related miRNAs which are important in various cancers as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic markers.

Chen Y, Lu J, Xia L, et al.
Testicular orphan receptor 4 promotes tumor progression and implies poor survival through AKT3 regulation in seminoma.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(2):384-394 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Seminoma is the most common testicular germ cell tumor worldwide and mainly occurs in 15-35-year-old young men. Early studies have indicated that testicular nuclear receptor 4 (TR4) first cloned from testis is involved in the invasion and metastasis of several human tumors; however, little attention is paid to the function of TR4 in seminoma. Our immunohistochemical (IHC) staining results showed that patients with advanced stage tumors tended to have higher expression of TR4. Importantly, there was a significant association between elevated TR4 expression and reduced overall survival in seminoma patients. In vitro MTS, western blot and transwell assays, after manipulating TR4 expression in Tcam-2 cells, revealed that TR4 induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and promoted Tcam-2 cell proliferation and invasion. Mechanism dissection demonstrated that AKT3, a critical component in the signaling pathway, played a crucial role in mediating TR4-promoted Tcam-2 cell proliferation and invasion. We further revealed that TR4 modulated AKT3 at the transcriptional level via chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase assays. Meanwhile, addition of the AKT3 siRNA blocked the function of TR4. Overall, these findings first elucidate that TR4 is a novel prognostic marker and plays a critical role in the metastatic capacity of Tcam-2 cells by EMT regulation and, consequently, targeting TR4-AKT3 pathway may serve as a potential therapeutic approach for seminoma.

Suyama K, Yao J, Liang H, et al.
An Akt3 Splice Variant Lacking the Serine 472 Phosphorylation Site Promotes Apoptosis and Suppresses Mammary Tumorigenesis.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(1):103-114 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Akt pathway is a well-known promoter of tumor malignancy. Akt3 is expressed as two alternatively spliced variants, one of which lacks the key regulatory serine 472 phosphorylation site. Whereas the function of full-length Akt3 isoform (Akt3/+S472) is well-characterized, that of Akt3/-S472 isoform remains unknown. Despite being expressed at a substantially lower level than Akt3/+S472 in triple-negative breast cancer cells, specific ablation of Akt3/-S472 enhanced, whereas overexpression, suppressed mammary tumor growth, consistent with a significant association with patient survival duration relative to Akt3/+S472. These effects were due to striking induction of apoptosis, which was mediated by Bim upregulation, leading to conformational activation of Bax and caspase-3 processing. Bim accumulation was caused by marked endocytosis of EGF receptors with concomitant ERK attenuation, which stabilizes BIM. These findings demonstrate an unexpected function of an endogenously expressed Akt isoform in promoting, as opposed to suppressing, apoptosis, underscoring that Akt isoforms may exert dissonant functions in malignancy.

Lin Y, Cheng K, Wang T, et al.
miR-217 inhibits proliferation, migration, and invasion via targeting AKT3 in thyroid cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 95:1718-1724 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to test the influence of miR-217 on the proliferation, invasion, migration of thyroid cancer and the relevant mechanism.
METHOD: miR-217 expression levels in thyroid cancer tissues and cell lines were detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).Cell Counting Kit-8, flow cytometer, wound healing, transwell invasion assays were applied to evaluate the effect of miR-217 on proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion of thyroid cells. The luciferase reporter assay, qRT-PCR, and western blot were used to identify target of miR-217. Relative relationship of expression level between miR-217 and AKT3 was analyzed in thyroid cancer tissues. Xenograft transplantation was performed to test effect of miR-217 in vivo.
RESULTS: We found that the expression of miR-217 was significantly decreased in thyroid cancer tissues cell lines. Significantly, decreased miR-217 expression were associated with the clinical stage and lymph node metastasis. Function studies revealed that miR-217 overexpression in thyroid cancer cells inhibited proliferation, migration, and invasion in vitro, as well as suppressed tumor growth in vivo. Subsequently, AKT3 was identified as a target of miR-217 in thyroid cancer. AKT3 expression was upregulated in thyroid cancer tissues, was inversely correlated with miR-217expression. Besides, overexpression of AKT3 efficiently abrogates suppressive effect on proliferation, migration and invasion in thyroid cancer cells caused by overexpression of miR-217.
CONCLUSION: These data demonstrated a tumor suppressor role for miR-217 in thyroid cancer development and progression by targeting AKT3, suggesting miR-217 might be a potential target for thyroid cancer.

Rotwein P
Variation in Akt protein kinases in human populations.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2017; 313(6):R687-R692 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The three Akt kinases are related proteins that are essential for normal growth and metabolic regulation and are implicated as key signaling mediators in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. Each Akt is activated by common biochemical signals that act downstream of growth factor and hormone receptors via phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, and each controls several downstream pathways. The importance of Akt actions in human physiology is strengthened by the rarity of modifying mutations in their genes and by the devastating impact caused by these mutations on growth and development and in disorders such as cancer. Recent advances in genomics present unique opportunities for enhancing our understanding of human physiology and disease predisposition through the lens of population genetics, and the availability of DNA sequence data from 60,706 people in the Exome Aggregation Consortium has prompted this analysis. Results reveal a cohort of potential missense and other alterations in the coding regions of each

Kuzu OF, Gowda R, Sharma A, et al.
Identification of WEE1 as a target to make AKT inhibition more effective in melanoma.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2018; 19(1):53-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AKT3 is one of the major therapeutic targets in melanoma but clinically targeting AKT3 alone seems to be an ineffective therapeutic approach. To identify unique strategies to enhance the efficacy of targeting AKT3, a screen was undertaken where AKT3 was co-targeted with a panel of kinases important in melanoma development. The screen identified WEE1 as the most potent target that when inhibited along with AKT3 would enhance the efficacy of targeting AKT3 in melanoma. RNAi mediated inhibition of AKT3 and WEE1 synergistically inhibited the viability of melanoma cells leading to a 65-75% decrease in tumor development. This approach was effective by mechanistically modulating pathways associated with the transcription factors p53 and FOXM1. Simultaneously regulating the activity of these two transcriptionally driven pathways, cooperatively deregulated cell cycle control and DNA damage repair to synergistically kill melanoma cells. This study uniquely identifies a potential approach to improve the efficacy of targeting AKT3 in melanoma.

Radke J, Roßner F, Redmer T
CD271 determines migratory properties of melanoma cells.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):9834 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma cell expression of the nerve growth factor receptor CD271 is associated with stem-like properties. However, the contributing role of the receptor in melanoma cell migration is elusive. Here, we explored extracranial (skin, soft tissue, lymph node and liver, n = 13) and matched brain metastases (BM, n = 12) and observed a heterogeneous distribution of phenotypically distinct subsets of CD271

Zhuang J, Ye Y, Wang G, et al.
MicroRNA‑497 inhibits cellular proliferation, migration and invasion of papillary thyroid cancer by directly targeting AKT3.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(5):5815-5822 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thyroid cancer is the most common tumor of the endocrine organs. Emerging studies have indicated the critical roles of microRNAs (miRs) in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) formation and progression through function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes. The present study investigated the expression level and biological roles of miR‑497 in PTC and its underlying mechanisms. It was demonstrated that the expression level of miR‑497 was reduced in both PTC tissues and cell lines. Enforced expression of miR‑497 suppressed PTC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. According to bioinformatics analysis, a luciferase reporter assay, reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, RAC‑γ serine/threonine‑protein kinase (AKT3) was demonstrated to be the direct target gene of miR‑497. In addition, AKT3 expression increased in PTC tissues and negatively correlated with miR‑497 expression. Furthermore, downregulation of AKT3 also suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion of PTC, which had similar roles to miR‑497 overexpression in PTC cells. Taken together, these results suggested that this newly identified miR‑497/AKT3 signaling pathway may contribute to PTC occurrence and progression. These findings provide novel potential therapeutic targets for the therapy of PTC.

Sui J, Yang RS, Xu SY, et al.
Comprehensive analysis of aberrantly expressed microRNA profiles reveals potential biomarkers of human lung adenocarcinoma progression.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 38(4):2453-2463 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is a complex disease that poses challenges for diagnosis and treatment. The aim of the present study is to investigate LUAD-specific key microRNAs (miRNAs) from large-scale samples in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. We used an integrative computational method to identify LUAD-specific key miRNAs related to TNM stage and lymphatic metastasis from the TCGA database. Twenty-five LUAD-specific key miRNAs (fold change >2, p<0.05) from the TCGA database were investigated, and 15 were found to be aberrantly expressed with respect to clinical features. Three miRNAs were correlated with overall survival (log-rank p<0.05). Then, 5 miRNAs were randomly selected for verification of expression in 53 LUAD patient tissues using qRT-PCR. Diagnostic value of these above 5 miRNAs was determined by areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC). Finally, the LUAD-related miRNA miR-30a-3p was selected for verification of biologic function in A549 cells. The results of tests for cell proliferation, apoptosis, and target genes suggested that miR-30a-3p decreases cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis through targeting AKT3. Therefore, miR-30a-3p may be a promising biomarker for the early screening of high-risk populations and early diagnosis of LUAD. Our studies provide insights into identifying novel potential biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of LUAD.

Guo T, Sakai A, Afsari B, et al.
A Novel Functional Splice Variant of
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(19):5248-5258 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has increased more than 200% in the past 20 years. Recent genetic sequencing efforts have elucidated relevant genes in head and neck cancer, but HPV-related tumors have consistently shown few DNA mutations. In this study, we sought to analyze alternative splicing events (ASE) that could alter gene function independent of mutations. To identify ASE unique to HPV-related tumors, RNA sequencing was performed on 46 HPV-positive OPSCC and 25 normal tissue samples. A novel algorithm using outlier statistics on RNA-sequencing junction expression identified 109 splicing events, which were confirmed in a validation set from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Because the most common type of splicing event identified was an alternative start site (39%), MBD-seq genome-wide CpG methylation data were analyzed for methylation alterations at promoter regions. ASE in six genes showed significant negative correlation between promoter methylation and expression of an alternative transcriptional start site, including

Zhang F, Wu Z
Significantly altered expression of miR-511-3p and its target AKT3 has negative prognostic value in human prostate cancer.
Biochimie. 2017; 140:66-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In this study, we assessed the expression and functions of microRNA-511-3p (miR-511-3p) in human prostate cancer (CaP).
METHODS: Gene expressions of miR-511-3p in CaP cells and human CaP tumors were assessed by qPCR. In VCaP and PC3 cells, miR-511-3p was overexpressed by lentivirus. The functions of miR-511-3p upregulation in regulating in vitro cancer proliferation, migration and in vivo cancer growth were assessed by MTT, transwell and transplantation assays, respectively. Downstream target gene of miR-511-3p, AKT3, was verified by dual-luciferase activity and qPCR assays. AKT3 was then overexpressed in miR-511-3p-upregulated CaP cells to assess its functions in miR-511-3p-mediated cancer regulation.
RESULTS: MiR-511-3p is significantly downregulated in CaP cell lines, and human CaP tumors. MiR-511-3p was further downregulated in T3/T4-staged CaP tumors and closely correlated with shorter overall survival among CaP patients. In VCaP and PC3 cells, lentiviral-induced miR-511-3p upregulation was acting as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting in vitro cancer proliferation, migration and in vivo transplantation. Human AKT3 gene was confirmed to be the downstream target of miR-511-3p in CaP. In miR-511-3p-upregulated VCaP and PC3 cells, forced-overexpression of AKT3 reversed the tumor suppressive effects of miR-511-3p in CaP.
CONCLUSION: MiR-511-3p may serve as a prognostic factor and tumor suppressor in CaP, very likely through inverse regulation of its downstream target gene of AKT3.

Ma Y, Li MD
Establishment of a Strong Link Between Smoking and Cancer Pathogenesis through DNA Methylation Analysis.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):1811 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Smoking is a well-documented risk factor in various cancers, especially lung cancer. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that abnormal DNAm loci associated with smoking are enriched in genes and pathways that convey a risk of cancer by determining whether smoking-related methylated genes led to enrichment in cancer-related pathways. We analyzed two sets of smoking-related methylated genes from 28 studies originating from blood and buccal samples. By analyzing 320 methylated genes from 26 studies on blood samples (N = 17,675), we found 57 enriched pathways associated with different types of cancer (FDR < 0.05). Of these, 11 were also significantly overrepresented in the 661 methylated genes from two studies of buccal samples (N = 1,002). We further found the aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling pathway plays an important role in the initiation of smoking-attributable cancer. Finally, we constructed a subnetwork of genes important for smoking-attributable cancer from the 48 non-redundant genes in the 11 oncogenic pathways. Of these, genes such as DUSP4 and AKT3 are well documented as being involved in smoking-related lung cancer. In summary, our findings provide robust and systematic evidence in support of smoking's impact on the epigenome, which may be an important contributor to cancer.

Li Y, Cai B, Shen L, et al.
MiRNA-29b suppresses tumor growth through simultaneously inhibiting angiogenesis and tumorigenesis by targeting Akt3.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 397:111-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
The traditional anti-angiogenic cancer therapy could trigger hypoxia induced factor (HIF) response, leading to "reactive resistance" to chemotherapy. Simultaneously inhibiting both angiogenesis and tumorigenesis would be ideal to overcome this limitation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are increasingly explored as new agents for cancer therapy. In the present study, we identified a microRNA (miR-29b) with the ability of simultaneously inhibiting angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. Ectopic expression of miR-29b inhibits HUVECs formed three-dimensional capillary-like tubular structures, tumor cell proliferation, migration and tumor formation. Systemic administration of miR-29b potently suppressed tumor vascularization and cancer cell activity in vivo, resulting in dramatic suppression of tumor growth without toxicity. Moreover, we demonstrated the role of miR-29b in anti-angiogenesis and anti-tumorigenesis is through targeting Akt3 and inducing VEGF and C-myc arrest in breast cancer cells. These findings indicate that this single miRNA could be used as an efficient anti-cancer therapeutic agent to address a critical challenge in cancer therapy.

Baocheng W, Zhao Y, Meng W, et al.
Polymorphisms of insulin receptor substrate 2 are putative biomarkers for pediatric medulloblastoma: considering the genetic susceptibility and pathological diagnoses.
Nagoya J Med Sci. 2017; 79(1):47-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molecular profiling subgrouped medulloblastoma (MB) into four subtypes featured by distinct footprints. However, germline studies on genetic susceptibility in Chinese population have not been reported. To investigate the correlation of polymorphisms involved in the AKT signaling pathway with clinicopathological parameters in pediatric MB, and their contribution to the clinical outcome, we performed a case-controlled cohort consisting of 48 patients with pediatric MB and 190 healthy controls from Han population. Significant association in rs7987237 of insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) was identified as risk allele/genotype between MB patients and control group (

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