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Cancer Cell. 2005 Mar;7(3):263-73.

DJ-1, a novel regulator of the tumor suppressor PTEN.

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  • 1Advanced Medical Discovery Institute, The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada M5G 2C1.


The phosphatidylinositol 3' kinase (PI3'K) pathway, which regulates cell survival, is antagonized by the PTEN tumor suppressor. The regulation of PTEN is unclear. A genetic screen of Drosophila gain-of-function mutants identified DJ-1 as a suppressor of PTEN function. In mammalian cells, DJ-1 underexpression results in decreased phosphorylation of PKB/Akt, while DJ-1 overexpression leads to hyperphosphorylation of PKB/Akt and increased cell survival. In primary breast cancer samples, DJ-1 expression correlates negatively with PTEN immunoreactivity and positively with PKB/Akt hyperphosphorylation. In 19/23 primary non-small cell lung carcinoma samples, DJ-1 expression was increased compared to paired nonneoplastic lung tissue, and correlated positively with relapse incidence. DJ-1 is thus a key negative regulator of PTEN that may be a useful prognostic marker for cancer.

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