AKT/PKB signaling: navigating downstream
The serine/threonine kinase Akt, also known as protein kinase B (PKB), is a central node in cell signaling downstream of growth factors, cytokines, and other cellular stimuli. Aberrant loss or gain of Akt activation underlies the pathophysiological properties of a variety of complex diseases, including type-2 diabetes and cancer. Here, we review the molecular properties of Akt and the approaches used to characterize its true cellular targets. In addition, we discuss those Akt substrates that are most likely to contribute to the diverse cellular roles of Akt, which include cell survival, growth, proliferation, angiogenesis, metabolism, and migration.