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Akt Pathway

The Akt pathway is activated in response to a range of ligands, such as growth factors, and regulates many cellular processes, including protein synthesis, cell survival, proliferation, autophagy, and metabolism. Akt is a three-member family of serine-threonine protein kinases consisting of Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3. This family of kinases is activated downstream of PI 3-Kinase-dependent phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) formation at the plasma membrane. Conversely, Akt activation is negatively regulated by the lipid phosphatase PTEN, which dephosphorylates PIP3. Dysregulation of the Akt pathway can promote tumorigenesis. It is also known to suppress autophagy, which can either promote or inhibit cancer cell death in a context-dependent manner. Akt deficiency is associated with the development of diabetes in mice and humans, suggesting that these signaling pathways are also important for proper regulation of metabolism. The dysregulation or loss of Akt signaling in multiple diseases highlights the need for more research and a better understanding of this pathway and its regulation.