Protein phosphorylation in a human glioblastoma cell line, T98G, was examined after exposure to oxidative stress in vitro. Hydrogen peroxide (1 mM) markedly induced tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and serine phosphorylation of Akt at 1 h after stimulation. Concommitantly, the association of FAK with phosphatidylinositide 3'-OH-kinase (PI 3-kinase) was also observed by the hydrogen peroxide stimulation. When T98G cells were incubated with wortmannin, a PI 3-kinase inhibitor, both PI 3-kinase activity and phosphorylation of Akt were inhibited, whereas apoptosis by oxidative stress was accelerated. Concomitant with apoptosis, elevated level of CPP32 protease activity (caspase-3) was observed, with decreases in Bcl-2 protein and increases in Bax protein. These results suggested that in the signal transduction pathway from FAK to PI 3-kinase, Akt promotes survival. Thus, it became apparent that FAK is the upstream signal protein of the PI 3-kinase-Akt survival pathway in hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis in T98G cells.