Role of PRAS40 in Akt and mTOR signaling in health and disease

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun 15;302(12):E1453-60. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00660.2011. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


The proline-rich Akt substrate of 40 kDa (PRAS40) acts at the intersection of the Akt- and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-mediated signaling pathways. The protein kinase mTOR is the catalytic subunit of two distinct signaling complexes, mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2, that link energy and nutrients to the regulation of cellular growth and energy metabolism. Activation of mTOR in response to nutrients and growth factors results in the phosphorylation of numerous substrates, including the phosphorylations of S6 kinase by mTORC1 and Akt by mTORC2. Alterations in Akt and mTOR activity have been linked to the progression of multiple diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. Although PRAS40 was first reported as substrate for Akt, investigations toward mTOR-binding partners subsequently identified PRAS40 as both component and substrate of mTORC1. Phosphorylation of PRAS40 by Akt and by mTORC1 itself results in dissociation of PRAS40 from mTORC1 and may relieve an inhibitory constraint on mTORC1 activity. Adding to the complexity is that gene silencing studies indicate that PRAS40 is also necessary for the activity of the mTORC1 complex. This review summarizes the regulation and potential function(s) of PRAS40 in the complex Akt- and mTOR-signaling network in health and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / biosynthesis
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Disease
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • AKT1S1 protein, human
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • CRTC1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • MTOR protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases