Down-regulation of the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway by ERK MAP kinase in growth factor signaling


  • Communicated by: Yoshimi Takai

* Correspondence: or


The ERK MAP kinase and PI3-kinase/Akt pathways are major intracellular signaling modules, which are known to regulate diverse cellular processes including cell proliferation, survival and malignant transformation. However, it has not been fully understood how these two pathways interact with each other. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of the ERK pathway by the MEK inhibitor U0126 or PD98059 significantly potentiates EGF- and FGF-induced Akt phosphorylation at both Thr308 and Ser473. We also show that hyperactivation of the ERK pathway greatly attenuates EGF- and FGF-induced Akt phosphorylation. Furthermore, the enhanced Akt phosphorylation induced by U0126 is inhibited by the PI3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, and is accompanied by the up-regulation of Ras activity. These results suggest that the ERK pathway inhibition enhances Akt phosphorylation through the Ras/PI3-kinase pathway. Thus, our results demonstrate that the ERK pathway negatively modulates the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway in response to growth factor stimulation.