The AKT family, comprising three highly homologous kinases, is an essential mediator of the PTEN/PI3K pathway, which is deregulated in many human cancers. A thorough understanding of the specific activities of each isoform in normal and disease tissues is lacking. We evaluated the role of each Akt isoform in gliomagenesis by using a model system driven by common glioma abnormalities, loss of function of p53 and Pten, and expression of EGFRvIII. Both Pten deletion and EGFRvIII expression accelerated the proliferation of p53-null primary murine astrocytes. All three Akt isoforms were expressed and phosphorylated in astrocytes, with significantly higher activation in Pten-null cells. Despite substantial compensation in many contexts when individual Akt isoforms were inhibited, isoform-specific effects were also identified. Specifically, loss of Akt1 or Akt2 decreased proliferation of Pten wild-type astrocytes, whereas combined loss of multiple isoforms was needed to inhibit proliferation of Pten-null astrocytes. In addition, Akt3 was required for anchorage-independent growth of transformed astrocytes and human glioma cells, and Akt3 loss inhibited invasion of transformed astrocytes. EGFRvIII expression transformed p53-null astrocytes with or without Pten deletion, causing rapid development of high-grade astrocytoma on intracranial transplantation. Furthermore, tumorigenesis of Pten;p53-null astrocytes expressing EGFRvIII was delayed by Akt1 loss and accelerated by Akt2 loss. Taken together, these results indicate context-dependent roles for individual Akt isoforms and suggest that there may be heterogeneous tumor response to isoform-specific inhibitors.