Critical role of PTEN in the coupling between PI3K/Akt and JNK1/2 signaling in ischemic brain injury

Quan Guang Zhang, Dong Na Wu, Dong Han, Guang Yi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


JNK pathway is an important pro-apoptotic kinase cascade mediating cell death in response to a variety of extracellular stimuli including excitotoxicity, which results in selective and delayed neuronal death in the hippocampal CA1. On the contrary, activation of the protein kinase Akt, which is controlled by the opposing actions of PI3K and PTEN, contributes to enhanced resistance to apoptosis through multiple mechanisms. We here demonstrate that the temporal pattern of Akt activation reversely correlates with JNK1/2 activation following various time points of ischemic reperfusion. However, the activation of JNK1/2 could be decreased by the elevation of Akt activation via increasing the tyrosine phosphorylation of PTEN by bpv(pic), a potent PTPases inhibitor for PTEN, or by intracerebroventricular infusion of PTEN antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (AS-ODNs). In contrast, JNK1/2 activation was significantly increased by preventing PTEN degradation after pretreatment with proteasome inhibitor. The neuroprotective effects of bpv(pic) and PTEN AS-ODNs were significant in the CA1 subfield after transient global ischemia. In conclusion, the present results clearly show that PTEN plays a key regulatory role in the cross-talk between cell survival PI3K/Akt pathway and pro-death JNK pathway, and raise a new possibility that agents targeting phosphatase PTEN may offer a great promise to expand the therapeutic options in protecting neurons form ischemic brain damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-505
Number of pages11
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Hippocampus
  • JNK
  • Neuronal death
  • PTEN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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