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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 May 25;96(11):6199-204.

PTEN modulates cell cycle progression and cell survival by regulating phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5,-trisphosphate and Akt/protein kinase B signaling pathway.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


To investigate the molecular basis of PTEN-mediated tumor suppression, we introduced a null mutation into the mouse Pten gene by homologous recombination in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Pten-/- ES cells exhibited an increased growth rate and proliferated even in the absence of serum. ES cells lacking PTEN function also displayed advanced entry into S phase. This accelerated G1/S transition was accompanied by down-regulation of p27(KIP1), a major inhibitor for G1 cyclin-dependent kinases. Inactivation of PTEN in ES cells and in embryonic fibroblasts resulted in elevated levels of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5,-trisphosphate, a product of phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase. Consequently, PTEN deficiency led to dosage-dependent increases in phosphorylation and activation of Akt/protein kinase B, a well-characterized target of the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase signaling pathway. Akt activation increased Bad phosphorylation and promoted Pten-/- cell survival. Our studies suggest that PTEN regulates the phosphatidylinositol 3,4, 5,-trisphosphate and Akt signaling pathway and consequently modulates two critical cellular processes: cell cycle progression and cell survival.

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