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Diabetologia. 2007 Feb;50(2):395-403. Epub 2006 Dec 29.

Pten (phosphatase and tensin homologue gene) haploinsufficiency promotes insulin hypersensitivity.

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The Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, 2660 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3Z6.



Insulin controls glucose metabolism via multiple signalling pathways, including the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway in muscle and adipose tissue. The protein/lipid phosphatase Pten (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10) attenuates PI3K signalling by dephosphorylating the phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate generated by PI3K. The current study was aimed at investigating the effect of haploinsufficiency for Pten on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.


Insulin sensitivity in Pten heterozygous (Pten(+/-)) mice was investigated in i.p. insulin challenge and glucose tolerance tests. Glucose uptake was monitored in vitro in primary cultures of myocytes from Pten(+/-) mice, and in vivo by positron emission tomography. The phosphorylation status of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt), a downstream signalling protein in the PI3K pathway, and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta), a substrate of PKB/Akt, was determined by western immunoblotting.


Following i.p. insulin challenge, blood glucose levels in Pten(+/-) mice remained depressed for up to 120 min, whereas glucose levels in wild-type mice began to recover after approximately 30 min. After glucose challenge, blood glucose returned to normal about twice as rapidly in Pten(+/-) mice. Enhanced glucose uptake was observed both in Pten(+/-) myocytes and in skeletal muscle of Pten(+/-) mice by PET. PKB and GSK3beta phosphorylation was enhanced and prolonged in Pten(+/-) myocytes.


Pten is a key negative regulator of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in vitro and in vivo. The partial reduction of Pten due to Pten haploinsufficiency is enough to elicit enhanced insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in Pten(+/-) mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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