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Nov 2010 Cell death and differentiation

The Akt activation inhibitor TCN-P inhibits Akt phosphorylation by binding to the PH domain of Akt and blocking its recruitment to the plasma membrane.


Berndt N, Yang H, Trinczek B, Betzi S, Zhang Z, Wu B, Lawrence NJ, Pellecchia M, Schönbrunn E, Cheng JQ, Sebti SM


Persistently hyperphosphorylated Akt contributes to human oncogenesis and resistance to therapy. Triciribine (TCN) phosphate (TCN-P), the active metabolite of the Akt phosphorylation inhibitor TCN, is in clinical trials, but the mechanism by which TCN-P inhibits Akt phosphorylation is unknown. Here we show that in vitro, TCN-P inhibits neither Akt activity nor the phosphorylation of Akt S473 and T308 by mammalian target of rapamycin or phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1. However, in intact cells, TCN inhibits EGF-stimulated Akt recruitment to the plasma membrane and phosphorylation of Akt. Surface plasmon resonance shows that TCN, but not TCN, binds Akt-derived pleckstrin homology (PH) domain (K(D): 690 nM). Furthermore, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy shows that TCN-P, but not TCN, binds to the PH domain in the vicinity of the PIP3-binding pocket. Finally, constitutively active Akt mutants, Akt1-T308D/S473D and myr-Akt1, but not the transforming mutant Akt1-E17K, are resistant to TCN and rescue from its inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Thus, the results of our studies indicate that TCN-P binds to the PH domain of Akt and blocks its recruitment to the membrane, and that the subsequent inhibition of Akt phosphorylation contributes to TCN-P antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities, suggesting that this drug may be beneficial to patients whose tumors express persistently phosphorylated Akt.

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