Previous studies demonstrate that interleukin-6 (IL-6) mediates growth and survival in human multiple myeloma (MM) cells via the MEK/MAPK and JAK/STAT signaling pathways, respectively. IL-6 also confers protection against Dexamethasone (Dex)-induced apoptosis via activation of protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP2). In the current study, we characterized IL-6 triggered phophatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt kinase (PI3-K/Akt) signaling in MM cells. IL-6 induces Akt/PKB phosphorylation in a time and dose dependent manner in MM.1S MM cells. IL-6 also induced phosphorylation of downstream targets of Akt, including Bad, GSK-3beta, and FKHR, confirming Akt activation. Inhibition of Akt activation by the PI3-K inhibitor LY294002 partially blocked IL-6 triggered MEK/MAPK activation and proliferation in MM.1S cells, suggesting cross-talk between PI3-K and MEK signaling. We demonstrate that Dex-induced apoptosis in MM.1S cells is mediated by downstream activation of caspase-9, with resultant caspase-3 cleavage; and conversely, that IL-6 triggers activation of PI3-K and its association with SHP2, inactivates caspase-9, and protects against Dex-induced apoptosis. LY294002 completely abrogates this signaling cascade, further confirming the importance of PI3-K/Akt signaling in conferring the protective effect of IL-6 against Dex-induced apoptosis. Finally, we show that IL-6 triggered PI3-K/Akt signaling in MM.1S cells inactivates forkhead transcriptional factor (FKHR), with related G1/S phase transition, whereas LY294002 blocks this signaling, resulting in upregulation of p27(KIP1) and G1 growth arrest. Our data therefore suggest that PI3-K/Akt signaling mediates growth, survival, and cell cycle regulatory effects of IL-6 in MM.