Emerging role of protein kinase B/Akt signaling in pancreatic beta-cell mass and function

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Feb;38(2):157-63. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2005.08.017. Epub 2005 Sep 23.


The serine-threonine kinase Akt also known as protein kinase B is one of the most studied molecules. In addition to the important role in carcinogenesis, Akt is a major regulator of carbohydrate metabolism. Akt mediates insulin-dependent glucose uptake in insulin-sensitive tissues. Recent evidence underscores the importance of Akt for regulation of beta-cell mass and function. This review summarizes current findings concerning the molecular mechanisms, downstream signaling pathways, and critical components involved in regulation of beta-cell mass and function by Akt. The results of these observations suggest that elucidation of critical downstream effectors of this signaling pathway could generate promising molecules as a potential target to induce proliferation and survival of beta-cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology*
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / chemistry
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt