Phosphoproteomic analysis reveals Akt isoform-specific regulation of cytoskeleton proteins in human temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis

Neurochem Int. 2020 Mar:134:104654. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2019.104654. Epub 2019 Dec 27.


Akt is one of the most important downstream effectors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mTOR pathway. Hyperactivation and expression of this pathway are seen in a variety of neurological disorders including human temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS). Nevertheless, the expression and activation profiles of the Akt isoforms, Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3 and their functional roles in human TLE-HS have not been studied. We examined the protein expression and activation (phosphorylation) patterns of Akt and its isoforms in human hippocampal tissue from TLE and non-TLE patients. A phosphoproteomic approach followed by interactome analysis of each Akt isoform was used to understand protein-protein interactions and their role in TLE-HS pathology. Our results demonstrated activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway as well as activation of Akt downstream substrates like GSK3β, mTOR, and S6 in TLE-HS samples. Akt1 isoform levels were significantly increased in the TLE-HS samples as compared to the non-TLE samples. Most importantly, different isoforms were activated in different TLE-HS samples, Akt2 was activated in three samples, Akt2 and Akt1 were simultaneously activated in one sample and Akt3 was activated in two samples. Our phosphoproteomic screen across six TLE-HS samples identified 183 proteins phosphorylated by Akt isoforms, 29 of these proteins belong to cytoskeletal modification. Also, we were able to identify proteins of several other classes involved in glycolysis, neuronal development, protein folding and excitatory amino acid transport functions as Akt substrates. Taken together, our data offer clues to understand the role of Akt and its isoforms in underlying the pathology of TLE-HS and further, modulation of Akt/mTOR pathway using Akt isoforms specific inhibitors may offer a new therapeutic window for treatment of human TLE-HS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Sclerosis / pathology
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases