Molecular imaging of Akt kinase activity

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, United States
Nature Medicine (Impact Factor: 28.05). 10/2007; 13(9):1114-9. DOI: 10.1038/nm1608
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The serine/threonine kinase Akt mediates mitogenic and anti-apoptotic responses that result from activation of multiple signaling cascades. It is considered a key determinant of tumor aggressiveness and is a major target for anticancer drug development. Here, we describe a new reporter molecule whose bioluminescence activity within live cells and in mice can be used to measure Akt activity. Akt activity in cultured cells and tumor xenografts was monitored quantitatively and dynamically in response to activation or inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinase, inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, or direct inhibition of Akt. The results provide unique insights into the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of agents that modulate Akt activity, revealing the usefulness of this reporter for rapid dose and schedule optimization in the drug development process.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bioluminescent systems are considered as potent reporter systems for bioanalysis since they have specific characteristics, such as relatively high quantum yields and photon emission over a wide range of colors from green to red. Biochemical events are mostly accomplished through large protein machines. These molecular complexes are built from a few to many proteins organized through their interactions. These protein-protein interactions are vital to facilitate the biological activity of cells. The split-luciferase complementation assay makes the study of two or more interacting proteins possible. In this technique, each of the two domains of luciferase is attached to each partner of two interacting proteins. On interaction of those proteins, luciferase fragments are placed close to each other and form a complemented luciferase, which produces a luminescent signal. Split luciferase is an effective tool for assaying biochemical metabolites, where a domain or an intact protein is inserted into an internally fragmented luciferase, resulting in ligand binding, which causes a change in the emitted signals. We review the various applications of this novel luminescent biosensor in studying protein-protein interactions and assaying metabolites involved in analytical biochemistry, cell communication and cell signaling, molecular biology, and the fate of the whole cell, and show that luciferase-based biosensors are powerful tools that can be applied for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 07/2014; 406(23). DOI:10.1007/s00216-014-7980-8 · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protein switches are ubiquitous in biological signal transduction systems, enabling cells to sense and respond to a variety of molecular queues in a rapid, specific, and integrated fashion. Analogously, tailor-engineered protein switches with custom input and output functions have become invaluable research tools for reporting on distinct physiological states and actuating molecular functions in real time and in situ. Here, we analyze recent progress in constructing protein-based switches while assessing their potential in the assembly of defined signaling motifs. We anticipate such systems will ultimately pave the way towards a new generation of molecular diagnostics and facilitate the construction of artificial signaling systems that operate in parallel to the signaling machinery of a host cell for applications in synthetic biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Trends in Biotechnology 12/2014; 33(2). DOI:10.1016/j.tibtech.2014.11.010 · 10.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The luciferase fragment complementation assay (LFCA) enables molecular events to be non-invasively imaged in live cells in vitro and in vivo in a comparatively cheap and safe manner. It is a development of previous enzyme complementation assays in which reporter genes are split into two, individually enzymatically inactive, fragments that are able to complement one another upon interaction. This complementation can be used to externally visualize cellular activities. In recent years, the number of studies which have used LFCAs to probe questions relevant to cancer have increased, and this review summarizes the most significant and interesting of these. In particular, it focuses on work conducted on the epidermal growth factor, nuclear and chemokine receptor families, and intracellular signaling pathways, including IP3, cAMP, Akt, cMyc, NRF2 and Rho GTPases. LFCAs which have been developed to image DNA methylation and detect RNA transcripts are also discussed.