In the present paper, we describe multiple levels of cross-talk between the PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase)/Akt and Ras/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signalling pathways. Experimental data and computer simulations demonstrate that cross-talk is context-dependent and that both pathways can activate or inhibit each other. Positive influence of the PI3K pathway on the MAPK pathway is most effective at sufficiently low doses of growth factors, whereas negative influence of the MAPK pathway on the PI3K pathway is mostly pronounced at high doses of growth factors. Pathway cross-talk endows a cell with emerging capabilities for processing and decoding signals from multiple receptors activated by different combinations of extracellular cues.

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