Reduction of Akt2 inhibits migration and invasion of glioma cells

Int J Cancer. 2009 Aug 1;125(3):585-95. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24314.


Malignant gliomas have a tendency to invade diffusely into surrounding healthy brain tissues, thereby precluding their successful surgical removal. The serine/threonine kinase Akt2 is well known as an important regulator of cell survival and growth. In this study, we show that siRNA-mediated depletion of Akt2 inhibited migration and invasion of glioma cells. In addition, we demonstrate the mechanisms by which Akt2 functions to promote cell migration and invasion. Phosphorylation of cofilin, a critical step of actin polymerization, and phosphorylation of Girdin, essential for the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration, were impaired. Furthermore, epidermal growth factor-induced ACAP1 phosphorylation and integrin beta1 phosphorylation were also blocked, consistent with defects in adhesion. Thus, Akt2 regulates both cell adhesion and cytoskeleton rearrangement during migration. Decreased MMP-9 expression in Akt2 knocked-down glioma cells was subsequently confirmed by Western blotting, consistent with the decreased invasion in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that Akt2 contributes to glioma cells migration and invasion by regulating the formation of cytoskeleton, influencing adhesion and increasing expression of MMP-9. Our immunohistochemistry results by using human gliomas tissue sections also indicated that Akt2 expression was closely related with the malignancy of gliomas. This is coincident with our in vivo and in vitro results from cell lines. All of these results indicate that Akt2 is a critical factor in gliomas invasion. This study identifies that Akt2 is a potentially antiinvasion target for therapeutic intervention in gliomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement* / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chemotaxis
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Integrin beta1 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transfection
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism


  • ACAP1 protein, human
  • Actins
  • CCDC88A protein, human
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Integrin beta1
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • AKT2 protein, human
  • Akt2 protein, rat
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9