O-GlcNAc modulation at Akt1 Ser473 correlates with apoptosis of murine pancreatic beta cells

Exp Cell Res. 2008 Jul 1;314(11-12):2238-48. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.04.014. Epub 2008 May 9.


O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT)-mediated modification of protein Ser/Thr residues with O-GlcNAc influences protein activity, similar to the effects of phosphorylation. The anti-apoptotic Akt1 is both activated by phosphorylation and modified with O-GlcNAc. However, the nature and significance of the Akt1 O-GlcNAc modification is unknown. The relationship of O-GlcNAc modification and phosphorylation at Akt1 Ser473 was examined with respect to apoptosis of murine beta-pancreatic cells. Glucosamine treatment induced apoptosis, which correlated with enhanced O-GlcNAc modification of Akt1 and concomitant reduction in Ser473 phosphorylation. Pharmacological inhibition of OGT or O-GlcNAcase revealed an inverse correlation between O-GlcNAc modification and Ser473 phosphorylation of Akt1. MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry analysis of Akt1 immunoprecipitates from glucosamine-treated cells, but not untreated controls, showed a peptide containing S473/T479 that was presumably modified with O-GlcNAc. Furthermore, in vitro O-GlcNAc-modification analysis of wildtype and mutant Akt1 revealed that S473 was targeted by recombinant OGT. A S473A Akt1 mutant demonstrated reduced basal and glucosamine-induced Akt1 O-GlcNAc modification compared with wildtype Akt1. Furthermore, wildtype Akt1, but not the S473A mutant, appeared to be associated with OGT following glucosamine treatment. Together, these observations suggest that Akt1 Ser473 may undergo both phosphorylation and O-GlcNAc modification, and the balance between these may regulate murine beta-pancreatic cell fate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism*
  • Alloxan / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Glucosamine / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Mannitol / metabolism
  • Mice
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / metabolism
  • Point Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Serine / metabolism*
  • Threonine / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Threonine
  • Mannitol
  • Serine
  • Alloxan
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • O-GlcNAc transferase
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Glucose
  • Glucosamine
  • Acetylglucosamine