The serine–threonine kinase Akt (also known as protein kinase B (PKB) plays a critical role in a broadly influential signaling network. Akt activation serves as a master switch for cellular signaling pathways by generating a multitude of intracellular responses through downstream targets and interacting partners. Akt has been implicated in diseases ranging from cancer and diabetes to neurodegeneration. Akt is one of the most actively studied kinases in both basic research and drug development. We offer a wide range of products to help with Akt research. 

Key Akt/PKB Pathway Targets

Akt/PKB is expressed as three isoforms [1]

Common targets in the Akt/PKB Pathway:

An amino terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, a central serine–threonine catalytic domain, and a small carboxy terminal regulatory domain characterize all the three isoforms. The PH domain binds to phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate (PIP2) and phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3), products of PI3K. This binding causes Akt to locate to the plasma membrane, where it becomes phosphorylated by phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) on Thr308 in the activation loop of the catalytic domain. This phosphorylation leads to activation. Full activation requires phosphorylation at a second site (Ser473).

The mTOR–rictor complex (mTORC2) is the primary kinase for the second phosphorylation event, although other kinases like Ilk (integrin linked kinase) [2, 3], PDK1 [4, 5], DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) [6, 7] and ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) have also been identified [8].

Abnormal activation or blockage of the Akt/PKB pathway is implicated in tumor cell survival and proliferation. Thus, the Akt pathway is an attractive target for anticancer drug discovery [9]. Key targets for tumor suppression include PH domain Leucine-rich repeat Protein Phosphatase (PHLPP), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) [10]. These targets provide suppression at multiple points throughout the pathway. PTEN dephosphorylates PIP3 and stops activation of Akt. PHLPP1/PHLPP2 negatively regulates PI3K and, in turn, regulates Akt [10]. TSC1 and TSC2 are activated by Akt and then hinder mTOR downstream [11].


We offer antibodies, ELISAs, Luminex multiplex assays and growth factors for key targets in the Akt signaling pathway. 

Featured below is western blot, ELISA, and Luminex data using Thermo Scientific products.

Western blot analysis of AKT [pS473]


Western blot analysis of AKT [pS473] was performed by loading 20 µg of NIH/3T3 (lane1), NIH/3T3 treated for 10 minutes with 25 ng/ml of PDGF (lane2) and U-87 MG (lane3) cell lysates. Proteins were transferred to a nitrocellulose membrane and blocked with 5 % skim milk for 1 hour at room temperature. AKT [pS473] was detected at ~55 kDa using ABfinity AKT [pS473] Recombinant Rabbit Monoclonal Antibody (Cat. No. 700256) at 0.5 µg-1 µg/ml in 2.5 % skim milk at 4°C overnight on a rocking platform. To confirm specificity, competition was performed with phosphopeptide (10 µg/mL) as shown in the corresponding blot on right. Goat Anti-Rabbit IgG-HRP Secondary Antibody (Cat. No. G21234) at 1:5000 dilution was used and chemiluminescent detection was performed using Novex ECL Chemiluminescent Substrate Reagent Kit (Cat. No. WP20005).

Immunofluorescent analysis of AKT (pT308)

Immunofluorescent analysis of AKT (pT308) was performed on 70% confluent log phase HeLa cells. The cells were fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde for 15 minutes, permeabilized with 0. 25% Triton X-100 for 10 minutes, and blocked with 5% BSA for 1 hour at room temperature. The cells were labeled with ABfinity AKT (pT308) recombinant rabbit monoclonal antibody (Cat. No. 701052) at a dilution of 1:500 in 1% BSA and incubated for 3 hours at room temperature and then labeled with Alexa Fluor 488 goat anti-rabbit IgG secondary antibody (Cat. No. A11008) at a dilution of 1:400 for 30 minutes at room temperature (Panel a: green). Nuclei (Panel b: blue) were stained with SlowFade Gold Antifade Mountant DAPI (Cat. No. S36938). F-actin (Panel c: red) was stained with Alexa Fluor 594 phalloidin (Cat. No. A12381). Panel d is a merged image showing cytoplasmic and perinuclear localization of phosphorylated AKT (pT308). Panel e shows competition with the phospho-AKT (pT308) peptide. 


  1. Vivanco, I., et al. (2002) The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase AKT pathway in human cancer. Nat Rev Cancer 7: 489-501.
  2. Persad, S., et al. (2000) Inhibition of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) suppresses activation of protein kinase B/Akt and induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of PTEN-mutant prostate cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97: 3207-3212.
  3. Balendram, A., et al. (1999) PDK1 acquires PDK2 activity in the presence of a synthetic peptide derived from the carboxyl terminus of PRK2. Curr Biol 9: 393-404.
  4. Rong, J., Simons, M. (2012) Syndecan 4 regulation of PDK1-dependent Akt activation. Cellular Signaling 25: 101-105.
  5. Feng, et al. (2004) Identification of a PKB/Akt hydrophobic motif Ser-473 kinase as DNA-dependent protein kinase. J Biol Chem 279: 41189-41196.
  6. Yikun, L., et al. (2013) Protein phosphatase 2A and DNA-dependent protein kinase are involved in mediating rapamycin-induced Akt phosphorylation. J Biol Chem 288: 13215-13224.
  7. Dong, L.Q., Liu, F. (2005) PDK2: the mission piece in the receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathway puzzle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 289: E187-E196.
  8. Cheng, J.Q., et al. (2005) The Akt/PKB pathway: molecular target for cancer drug discovery. Oncogene 24: 7482-7492.
  9. Newton, A. & Trotman, L. (2014) Turning off AKT: PHLPP as a drug target. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 54: 537-558.
  10. Hay, N. (2005) The Akt-mTOR tango and its relevance to cancer. Cancer Cell 8: 179-183.

Featured Products

Product NameCatalog Number
MDM2 Antibody337100
GSK3 alpha + beta Antibody44610
p53 AntibodyMA512557
Phospho-PRAS40 pThr246 Antibody441100G
PI3 Kinase p110-alpha AntibodyMA514870
FoxO1 AntibodyMA514846
p21 / Cip1 Antibody337000
Tuberin / TSC2 AntibodyAHO1422
Raptor Antibody424000
PTEN Antibody325800
AKT1 + AKT2 + AKT3 AntibodyMA514999
PDK1 AntibodyMA515797
RICTOR AntibodyMA515681
PP2A C Subunit AntibodyPA517510
Bad AntibodyA16707
P27 Kip1 AntibodyPA527188
IKK alpha AntibodyMA516157
PDCD4 AntibodyPA528150
TSC1 AntibodyPA520131
Phospho-EIF4EBP1pThr36 AntibodyPA512847

* This promotion is open to customers in the US and Canada. Discount will apply to orders received by Life Technologies no later than July 31, 2013, or until promotional supplies are depleted, whichever comes first. Customer can use the discount only once. Discount only applies to a maximum of 1 kit per customer. Discount applies to list price in effect at the time order is received by Life Technologies. Cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. Offer void where prohibited, licensed, or restricted by federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulation or agency/institutional policy. Other restrictions may apply.