The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3 kinase)-AKT pathway is frequently activated in cancer. Recent reports have identified a transforming mutation of AKT1 in breast, colorectal, ovarian and lung cancers. We report here the occurrence of this mutation in bladder tumours. The AKT1 G49A (E17K) mutation was found in 2/44 (4.8%) bladder cancer cell lines and 5/184 (2.7%) bladder tumours. Cell lines expressing mutant AKT1 show constitutive AKT1 activation under conditions of growth factor withdrawal. We also detected a novel AKT1 mutation G145A (E49K). This mutation also enhances AKT activation and shows transforming activity in NIH3T3 cells, though activity is weaker than that of E17K. Enhanced activation of AKT1 when E17K and E49K mutations are in tandem suggests that they can co-operate.