We show here that cytochalasin D-induced depolymerization of actin filaments markedly reduces the stimulus-dependent activation of protein kinase B (PKB) in four different cell types (HEK-293 cells, L6 myotubes, 3T3-L1 adipocytes and U87MG cells). HEK-293 cells expressing the pleckstrin homology (PH) domains of PKB and general receptor for phosphoinositides-1 (GRP1) fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) were used to monitor production of 3-phosphoinositides in the plasma membrane. Disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton significantly reduced the insulin-mediated translocation of both PKB-PHŐGFP and GRP1-PHŐGFP to the plasma membrane, consistent with diminished synthesis of 3-phosphoinositides. Actin depolymerization did not affect the hormonal activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase), and since cytochalasin D treatment also led to reduced platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced phosphorylation of PKB in U87MG cells, a PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10) null cell line, lipid phosphatase activity was unlikely to account for any reduction in cellular 3-phosphoinositides. Withdrawal of cytochalasin D from the extracellular medium induced actin filament repolymerization, and reinstated both the recruitment of PHŐGFP fusion proteins to the plasma membrane and PKB activation in response to insulin and PDGF. Our findings indicate that an intact actin network is a crucial requirement for PI 3-kinase-mediated production of 3-phosphoinositides and, therefore, for the activation of PKB.

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Author notes

1

These authors contributed equally to this work.