Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), a serine/threonine kinase is frequently inactivated by the oncogenic signalling kinases PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK in diverse malignancies. The present study was designed to investigate GSK-3β signalling circuits in the 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced hamster buccal pouch (HBP) carcinogenesis model and the therapeutic potential of the neem limonoid nimbolide. Inactivation of GSK-3β by phosphorylation at serine 9 and activation of PI3K/Akt, MAPK/ERK and β-catenin was associated with increased cell proliferation and apoptosis evasion during stepwise evolution of HBP carcinomas. Administration of nimbolide inhibited PI3K/Akt signalling with consequent activation of GSK-3β thereby inducing trafficking of β-catenin away from the nucleus and enhancing the expression of miR-126 and let-7. Molecular docking studies confirmed interaction of nimbolide with PI3K, Akt, ERK and GSK-3β. Furthermore, nimbolide attenuated cell proliferation and induced apoptosis as evidenced by increased p-cyclin D1Thr286 and pro-apoptotic proteins. The present study has unravelled aberrant phosphorylation as a key determinant for oncogenic signalling and acquisition of cancer hallmarks in the HBP model. The study has also provided mechanistic insights into the chemotherapeutic potential of nimbolide that may be a useful addition to the armamentarium of natural compounds targeting PI3K for oral cancer treatment.