Faculty Advisor

Fairchild, Craig D.


Protein Kinase B (AKT) is a kinase that is activated through either the insulin signaling transduction pathway or through the growth factor signaling cascade. AKT is found in three highly homologous isoforms, AKT-1, AKT-2 and AKT-3. Using a genetically altered embryonic murine cell line and utilizing the new technology of mRNA silencing by small interfering RNA (siRNA), a study of the in vivo targets of AKT-3 was performed to determine the biological function of AKT-3. The cells were stimulated with a high concentration of platelet derived growth hormone (PDGF) to induce the insulin-like growth factor signaling cascade, in which the ATK family plays a role as a protein kinase to many downstream proteins. Through the in vitro study, I found that many of these downstream proteins are phosphorylated normally in cells lakcing AKT-3 or DKO with AKT-3 siRNA except for p-FKHR. The results of this study suggest that AKT-3 does not play a crucial role in the growth factor signaling cascade to maintain glucose homeostasis.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2003



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry