PerspectiveCell Signaling

Blocking Akt-ivity

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Science  28 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5944, pp. 1083-1084
DOI: 10.1126/science.1179972

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Aberrations in cellular signaling pathways that involve the enzyme Akt (also called protein kinase B) are implicated in diverse diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders (1, 2). Thus, proteins involved in Akt activation and signaling are potential targets for therapeutic intervention. In fact, drugs directed against some of these targets are now in clinical trials for treating cancers, and the inhibition of Akt activation and signaling remains a major goal of drug discovery (3, 4). On page 1134 of this issue, Yang et al. (5) identify a chemical modification of Akt that controls its activation, identifying another potential means to inhibit this kinase in human cancers.