Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 15, pp 1930–1944 | Cite as

Glycogen synthase kinase 3: A key regulator of cellular fate

  • J. E. Forde
  • T. C. DaleEmail author


The serine/threonine kinase glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) was initially identified as a key regulator of insulin-dependent glycogen synthesis. GSK-3 was subsequently shown to function in a wide range of cellular processes including differentiation, growth, motility and apoptosis. Aberrant regulation of GSK-3 has been implicated in a range of human pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and cancer. As a consequence, the regulation of GSK-3 and the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors have become key areas of investigation. This review will focus on the mechanisms of GSK-3 regulation, with emphasis on modulation by upstream signals, control of substrate specificity and GSK-3 localisation. The details of these mechanisms will be discussed in the context of specific signalling pathways.


Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) mechanism of action inhibitors signalling disease kinase regulation 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Sciences BuildingCardiff School of BiosciencesCardiffUK

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