Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a serine/threonine kinase that participates in an array of critical cellular processes. GSK-3 was first characterized as an enzyme that phosphorylated and inactivated glycogen synthase. However, subsequent studies have revealed that this moon-lighting protein is involved in numerous signaling pathways that regulate not only metabolism but also have roles in: apoptosis, cell cycle progression, cell renewal, differentiation, embryogenesis, migration, regulation of gene transcription, stem cell biology and survival. In this review, we will discuss the roles that GSK-3 plays in various diseases as well as how this pivotal kinase interacts with multiple signaling pathways such as: PI3K/PTEN/Akt/mTOR, Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, Wnt/beta-catenin, hedgehog, Notch and TP53. Mutations that occur in these and other pathways can alter the effects that natural GSK-3 activity has on regulating these signaling circuits that can lead to cancer as well as other diseases. The novel roles that microRNAs play in regulation of the effects of GSK-3 will also be evaluated. Targeting GSK-3 and these other pathways may improve therapy and overcome therapeutic resistance.
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology