Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Emerging therapeutics for targeting Akt in cancer
The ultimate goal of cancer therapeutic research is to develop effective, targeted therapeutics that exploit the vulnerabilities of cancer cells. The three isoforms of Akt, also known as protein kinase B (PKB), are important mediators of various pathways that transmit mitogenic signals from the cell’s exterior to the effector proteins of the cell’s interior. Due to Akt’s importance in cell functions such as growth, proliferation and cell survival, many cancer cells rely on this pathway to aid in their survival. This dependence can lead to chemoresistance and selection of more adapted populations of cancer cells. Thus, it is important to understand the functional significance of isoform specificity and its relation to chemoresistance. In this review, we have summarized recent studies on Akt isoform specific regulation as well as each isoform’s role in chemoresistance, emphasizing their potential as targets for cancer therapy. We have also condensed ongoing clinical studies involving various types of Akt inhibitors while highlighting the type of study, rationale and co-therapies involved in identifying Akt isoforms as promising therapeutic targets.