Identification of key enzymes regulating melanoma progression and drug resistance has the potential to lead to the development of novel, more effective targeted agents for inhibiting this deadly form of skin cancer. The Akt3, also known as protein kinase B gamma, pathway enzymes regulate diverse cellular processes including proliferation, survival, and invasion thereby promoting the development of melanoma. Accumulating preclinical evidence demonstrates that therapeutic agents targeting these kinases alone or in combination with other pathway members could be effective for the long-term treatment of advanced-stage disease. However, currently, no selective and effective therapeutic agent targeting these kinases has been identified for clinical use. This paper provides an overview of the key enzymes of the PI3K pathway with emphasis placed on Akt3 and the negative regulator of this kinase called PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10). Mechanisms regulating these enzymes, their substrates and therapeutic implications of targeting these proteins to treat melanoma are also discussed. Finally, key issues that remain to be answered and future directions for interested researchers pertaining to this signaling cascade are highlighted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology