Akt and PI 3-Kinase Signaling in Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy and Survival

 Abstract

In many systems, activation of the “protein and lipid kinase” phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and its downstream serine-threonine kinase effector, Akt (or Protein Kinase B), provide a potent stimulus for cell proliferation, growth, and survival. In the heart, constrained by the limited proliferative capacity of cardiomyocytes, this pathway plays a key role in regulating cardiomyocyte growth and survival, with little effect on proliferation. Simultaneously, PI 3-kinase and Akt are important modulators of metabolic substrate utilization and cardiomyocyte function. Thus, the convergent signaling pathways controlling so many clinical important phenotypes of the cardiomyocyte suggest it holds promise as a therapeutic target in a variety of cardiac diseases. However, the similar role of PI 3-kinase/Akt signaling in neoplasia suggests the difficulty of activating this pathway in the heart without invoking adverse consequences elsewhere. Here we review evidence regarding the role of PI 3-kinase/Akt in controlling cardiomyocyte growth and survival, and discuss the implications for therapeutic strategies.

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Pages
219 - 222
doi
10.4161/cc.2.3.381
Type
Review: Spotlight on Cardiology
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Akt and PI 3-Kinase Signaling in Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy and Survival