Science 274: 661-665
A signaling pathway was delineated by which insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) promotes the survival of cerebellar neurons. IGF-1 activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K) triggered the activation of two protein kinases, the serine-threonine kinase Akt and the p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70(S6K)). Experiments with pharmacological inhibitors, as well as expression of wild-type and dominant-inhibitory forms of Akt, demonstrated that Akt but not p70(S6K) mediates PI3-K-dependent survival. These findings suggest that in the developing nervous system, Akt is a critical mediator of growth factor-induced neuronal survival.