Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2013, Article ID 472432, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/472432
Review Article

Roles for PI3K/AKT/PTEN Pathway in Cell Signaling of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Department of Environmental Health Science, Nara Women's University, Kita-Uoya Nishimachi, Nara 630-8506, Japan

Received 13 December 2012; Accepted 2 January 2013

Academic Editors: A. Petryk and Y. Tajiri

Copyright © 2013 Satoru Matsuda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of liver pathologies and is associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome, which represents a range of fatty liver diseases associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Molecular mechanisms underlying how to make transition from simple fatty liver to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are not well understood. However, accumulating evidence indicates that deregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway in hepatocytes is a common molecular event associated with metabolic dysfunctions including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and the NAFLD. A tumor suppressor PTEN negatively regulates the PI3K/AKT pathways through its lipid phosphatase activity. Molecular studies in the NAFLD support a key role for PTEN in hepatic insulin sensitivity and the development of steatosis, steatohepatitis, and fibrosis. We review recent studies on the features of the PTEN and the PI3K/AKT pathway and discuss the protein functions in the signaling pathways involved in the NAFLD. The molecular mechanisms contributing to the diseases are the subject of considerable investigation, as a better understanding of the pathogenesis will lead to novel therapies for a condition.