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Living with Lethal PIP3 Levels: Viability of Flies Lacking PTEN Restored by a PH Domain Mutation in Akt/PKB

Science  15 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5562, pp. 2088-2091
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068094

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Abstract

The phosphoinositide phosphatase PTEN is mutated in many human cancers. Although the role of PTEN has been studied extensively, the relative contributions of its numerous potential downstream effectors to deregulated growth and tumorigenesis remain uncertain. We provide genetic evidence in Drosophila melanogaster for the paramount importance of the protein kinase Akt [also called protein kinase B (PKB)] in mediating the effects of increased phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) concentrations that are caused by the loss of PTEN function. A mutation in the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of Akt that reduces its affinity for PIP3 sufficed to rescue the lethality of flies devoid of PTEN activity. Thus, Akt appears to be the only critical target activated by increased PIP3 concentrations in Drosophila.

  • * Present address: Department of Vascular and Metabolic Diseases, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, CH-4070 Basel, Switzerland.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hafen{at}zool.unizh.ch

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