Received September 17, 1999
Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) is one of the most important regulatory proteins that is involved in different signaling pathways and controlling of key functions of the cell. The double-enzymatic activity of PI3K (lipid kinase and protein kinase) as well as the ability of this enzyme to activate a number of signal proteins including some oncoproteins determines its fundamental significance in regulation of cell functions such as growth and survival, aging, and malignant transformation. Among the main effectors of PI3K are the mitogen-transducing signal proteins (protein kinase C, phosphoinositide-dependent kinases, small G-proteins, MAP (mitogen activated protein) kinases), which are activated either via their interaction with lipid products of PI3K or through PI3K-dependent phosphorylation of proteins. The anti-apoptotic effect of PI3K is realized by activation of proteins from another signaling pathway--protein kinase B (PKB) and/or PKB-dependent enzymes (GSK-3, ILK). PI3K plays a critical role in malignant transformation. PI3K itself possesses oncogenic activity and also forms complexes with some viral or cellular oncoproteins (src, ras, rac, alb, T-antigen), whose transforming activities are realized only in presence of PI3K. The transforming effect of PI3K is supposed to occur on the basis of complex alterations in cellular signaling pathways: appearance of constitutively generated PI3K-dependent mitogen signal and activation of some protooncogenes (src, ras, rac, etc.), PI3K/PKB-pathway stimulation resulting in delay of apoptosis and increase of cell survival, and actin cytoskeleton reorganization.
KEY WORDS: phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, phosphoinositides, MAP kinases, protein kinase B, proliferation, apoptosis, oncogenic transformation, aging