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ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) is a crucial cell survival pathway implicated in tumorigenesis because of its role in stimulating cell proliferation and suppressing apoptosis. This study was to investigate the regulation of proliferation and apoptosis by LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3K in cervical cancer cells and the expression of FLICE-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) in vitro. Human cervical cancer HeLa cells were used in this experiment and cultured. The cultured cells were treated with LY294002 at different concentrations (10, 25, 50 and 100 μmol/L) for 6, 12, 24, and 48 h before harvesting for evaluation. Cell viability was measured by 3-(4,5)-dimethylthiazol(-2-y1)-3,5-di-phenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) assay. Apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression of c-FLIP was detected by Western blot. Cell viability was inhibited by LY294002 significantly (P<0.05). Flow cytometry analysis revealed that cell apoptosis was significantly increased in the presence of LY294002 as compared with the control group. Although the expression of c-FLIP was increased in a short time, the expression of c-FLIP was markedly suppressed after the treatment of LY294002 for 48 h. These results suggested that the PI3K/Akt signal pathway might be involved in the regulation of cell apoptosis in cervical cancer cells. Moreover, the regulation of c-FLIP expression through PI3K/Akt signal pathway in cervical cancer cells was observed in vitro.Frontiers of Medicine in China 04/2012; 3(3):341-346.