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Curr Biol. 1999 Mar 25;9(6):329-32.

Regulation of dauer larva development in Caenorhabditis elegans by daf-18, a homologue of the tumour suppressor PTEN.

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Unité INSERM U453, Centre Léon Bérard, 69373 Lyon Cedex 08, France.


The tumour suppressor gene PTEN (also called MMAC1 or TEP1) is somatically mutated in a variety of cancer types [1] [2] [3] [4]. In addition, germline mutation of PTEN is responsible for two dominantly inherited, related cancer syndromes called Cowden disease and Bannayan-Ruvalcaba-Riley syndrome [4]. PTEN encodes a dual-specificity phosphatase that inhibits cell spreading and migration partly by inhibiting integrin-mediated signalling [5] [6] [7]. Furthermore, PTEN regulates the levels of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) by specifically dephosphorylating position 3 on the inositol ring [8]. We report here that the dauer formation gene daf-18 is the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of PTEN. DAF-18 is a component of the insulin-like signalling pathway controlling entry into diapause and adult longevity that is regulated by the DAF-2 receptor tyrosine kinase and the AGE-1 PI 3-kinase [9]. Others have shown that mutation of daf-18 suppresses the life extension and constitutive dauer formation associated with daf-2 or age-1 mutants. Similarly, we show that inactivation of daf-18 by RNA-mediated interference mimics this suppression, and that a wild-type daf-18 transgene rescues the dauer defect. These results indicate that PTEN/daf-18 antagonizes the DAF-2-AGE-1 pathway, perhaps by catalyzing dephosphorylation of the PIP3 generated by AGE-1. These data further support the notion that mutations of PTEN contribute to the development of human neoplasia through an aberrant activation of the PI 3-kinase signalling cascade.

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