Akt/GSK3beta serine/threonine kinases: evidence for a signalling pathway mediated by familial Alzheimer's disease mutations

Cell Signal. 2004 Feb;16(2):187-200. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2003.07.004.


Although Alzheimer's disease pathologically affects the brain, familial Alzheimer's disease associated mutations of beta-amyloid precursor protein and presenilin are ubiquitously expressed and therefore aberrant intracellular signals, separate from but similar to, the brain may be expected. Here, we report selective down regulation of the serine/threonine kinase, Akt/PKB, concurrent with elevated endogenous GSK3beta kinase activity in familial Alzheimer's disease beta-amyloid precursor protein expressing human embryonic kidney (HEK) and familial Alzheimer's disease presenilin lymphoblast cells. Further, familial Alzheimer's disease presenilin in the human lymphoblast was associated with beta-catenin destabilization. Moreover, limited immunohistochemistry analysis reveals Akt/PKB in a subset of neurofibrillary tangles where GSK3beta and tau have been reported to co-localize, suggesting a possible Akt/GSK3beta and tau interaction in vivo. Our data suggest that familial Alzheimer's disease mutants of beta-amyloid precursor protein and presenilin signal, at least in part, through the Akt/GSKbeta pathway and that Akt/GSK3beta-mediated signalling may contribute to the underlying Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis induced by familial Alzheimer's disease mutants.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / enzymology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / metabolism
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Presenilin-1
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • beta Catenin
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • PSEN1 protein, human
  • Presenilin-1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • beta Catenin
  • tau Proteins
  • AKT1 protein, human
  • GSK3B protein, human
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3