The role of the serine/threonine protein kinase B (PKB, also known as Akt) is becoming increasingly more evident to researchers investigating diverse cellular processes such as glucose uptake, cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. New roles for PKB/Akt have been described in various organisms and biological processes. From the regulation of ovarian ecdysteroid production in the humble mosquito (Aedes aegypti), through the seasonal, tissue-specific regulation of PKB/Akt during the hibernation of yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris), to the control of glucose metabolism and insulin signalling in the mouse (Mus musculus), our knowledge of the function of this protein kinase has expanded greatly in recent years. Significant advances in all aspects of PKB/Akt signalling have occurred in the past 2 years, including biological insights, novel substrates and newly discovered regulatory mechanisms of PKB/Akt. Collectively, these data expand the current models of PKB/Akt signalling and highlight potential directions for PKB/Akt research in the future.
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