The serine-threonine kinase Akt exerts its anti-apoptotic effects through several downstream targets, including the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Bad, Forkhead transcription factors, and the cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB). In this report we demonstrate that Akt inhibits a conformational change in the pro-apoptotic Bax protein and its translocation to mitochondria, thus preventing the disruption of the mitochondrial inner membrane potential (ΔΨm), caspase-3 activation, and apoptosis in pre-B hematopoietic cells FL5.12 following interleukin-3 (IL-3) withdrawal. Inhibition of PI-3 kinase, but not MAPK kinase, promotes this conformational change in Bax. Moreover, overexpression of Akt suppresses the relocalization of GFP-Bax to mitochondria and apoptosis in Hela cells induced by the DNA-damaging agent methyl methane-sulphonate. However, Akt does not abolish the ability of a conformationally changed Bax mutant, GFP-Bax (ΔS184), to translocate to mitochondria and to induce apoptosis. These findings indicate that Akt exerts its anti-apoptotic effects in cells at a premitochondrial stage, at least in part, by inhibiting Bax conformational change and its redistribution to the mitochondrial membranes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research