Isoform-specific role of Akt in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Nand Kishor Roy, Javadi Monisha, Ganesan Padmavathi, H. Lalhruaitluanga, Nachimuthu Senthil Kumar, Anuj Kumar Singh, Devivasha Bordoloi, Munindra Narayan Baruah, Gazi Naseem Ahmed, Imliwati Longkumar, Frank Arfuso, Alan Kumar, Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Protein kinase B (Akt) plays a very significant role in various cancers including oral cancer. However, it has three isoforms (Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3) and they perform distinct functions and even play contrasting roles in different cancers. Therefore, it becomes essential to evaluate the isoform-specific role of Akt in oral cancer. In the present study, an attempt has been made to elucidate the isoform-specific role of Akt in oral cancer. The immunohistochemical analysis of oral cancer tissues showed an overexpression of Akt1 and 2 isoforms but not Akt3. Moreover, the dataset of “The Cancer Genome Atlas” for head and neck cancer has suggested the genetic alterations of Akt1 and 2 tend to be associated with the utmost poor clinical outcome in oral cancer. Further, treatment of oral cancer cells with tobacco and its components such as benzo(a)pyrene and nicotine caused increased mRNA levels of Akt1 and 2 isoforms and also enhanced the aggressiveness of oral cancer cells in terms of proliferation, and clonogenic and migration potential. Finally, silencing of Akt1 and 2 isoforms caused decreased cell survival and induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. Akt1/2 silencing also reduced tobacco-induced aggressiveness by decreasing the clonogenic and migration potential of oral cancer cells. Moreover, silencing of Akt1 and 2 isoforms was found to decrease the expression of proteins regulating cancer cell survival and proliferation such as cyclooxygenase-2, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), cyclin D1, and survivin. Thus, the important role of Akt1 and 2 isoforms have been elucidated in oral cancer with in-depth mechanistic analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number253
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


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