Akt/PKB (Protein kinase B) is a serine/threonine kinase that contains a pleckstrin homology domain, a catalytic domain, and a putative regulatory fragment at the carboxyl terminus. PKB/Akt activation involves interaction with PIP3 and/or PIP2 through binding of the phospholipids at the pleckstrin homology domain. Three isoforms of PKB/Akt encoded by three separate genes have been identified in mammalian cells. PKB/Aktα is predominantly activated by insulin in muscle, liver, and adipocyte tissue. In adipocytes, it is PKB/Aktβ that is primarily activated, whereas PKB/Aktγ is not activated by insulin in the major target tissues, although there is activation in some cultured cells.
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