A p53–phosphoinositide signalosome regulates nuclear AKT activation

Mo Chen, Suyong Choi, Tianmu Wen, Changliang Chen, Narendra Thapa, Jeong Hyo Lee, Vincent L. Cryns, Richard A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The tumour suppressor p53 and PI3K–AKT pathways have fundamental roles in the regulation of cell growth and apoptosis, and are frequently mutated in cancer. Here, we show that genotoxic stress induces nuclear AKT activation through a p53-dependent mechanism that is distinct from the canonical membrane-localized PI3K–AKT pathway. Following genotoxic stress, a nuclear PI3K binds p53 in the non-membranous nucleoplasm to generate a complex of p53 and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3), which recruits AKT, PDK1 and mTORC2 to activate AKT and phosphorylate FOXO proteins, thereby inhibiting DNA damage-induced apoptosis. Wild-type p53 activates nuclear AKT in an on/off fashion following stress, whereas mutant p53 dose-dependently stimulates high basal AKT activity. The p53–PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 complex is dephosphorylated to p53–phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate by PTEN to inhibit AKT activation. The nuclear p53–phosphoinositide signalosome is distinct from the canonical membrane-localized pathway and insensitive to PI3K inhibitors currently in the clinic, which underscores its therapeutic relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1099-1113
Number of pages15
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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