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Cancer Res. 1999 Apr 15;59(8):1820-4.

Differential expression of MMAC/PTEN in glioblastoma multiforme: relationship to localization and prognosis.

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Department of Neuro-Oncology, The Brain Tumor Center, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


MMAC/PTEN, a tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome 10q, has recently been shown to act as a phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate phosphatase and to modulate cell growth and apoptosis. Somatic mutations of MMAC/PTEN have been reported in a number of human cancers, especially in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), although the number of identified mutations (approximately 10-35%) is significantly lower than the frequency of LOH affecting the MMAC/PTEN locus in the specimens (approximately 75-95%). To further investigate the possible alterations that may affect MMAC/PTEN, we examined the expression of the gene by reverse transcription-PCR in a series of gliomas. A significant difference (P < 0.001) was observed between the expression of MMAC/PTEN in GBMs versus lower grades of gliomas, thus mimicking the difference in allelic deletion associated with the locus in these tumors. Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier survival plots, adjusted for age and tumor grade, showed a significantly better prognosis for patients whose tumors expressed high levels of MMAC/PTEN. Additionally, immunostaining of GBMs revealed little or no MMAC/PTEN expression in about two-thirds of the tumors, whereas the other approximately one-third of tumors had significantly higher levels of expression. However, in about two-thirds of the high-expressing specimens, a heterogeneous pattern of expression was observed, indicating that certain cells within the tumor failed to express MMAC/PTEN. The combination of these results suggest that, in addition to molecular alterations affecting the gene, altered expression of MMAC/PTEN may play a significant role in the progression of GBM and patient outcome.

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