Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. A substantial fraction of breast cancers have acquired mutations that lead to activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway, which plays a central role in cellular processes that are essential in cancer, such as cell survival, growth, division and motility. Oncogenic mutations in the PI3K pathway generally involve either activating mutation of the gene encoding PI3K (PIK3CA) or AKT (AKT1), or loss or reduced expression of PTEN. Several kinases involved in PI3K signaling are being explored as a therapeutic targets for pharmacological inhibition. Despite the availability of a range of inhibitors, acquired resistance may limit the efficacy of single-agent therapy. In this review we discuss the role of PI3K pathway mutations in human breast cancer and relevant genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), with special attention to the role of PI3K signaling in oncogenesis, in therapeutic response, and in resistance to therapy. Several sophisticated GEMMs have revealed the cause-and-effect relationships between PI3K pathway mutations and mammary oncogenesis. These GEMMs enable us to study the biology of tumors induced by activated PI3K signaling, as well as preclinical response and resistance to PI3K pathway inhibitors.