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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 16;107(11):5142-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0912524107. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Allele-specific tumor spectrum in pten knockin mice.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, College of Biological Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Germline mutations in the tumor suppressor gene PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homology deleted on chromosome 10) cause Cowden and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba (BRR) syndromes, two dominantly inherited disorders characterized by mental retardation, multiple hamartomas, and variable cancer risk. Here, we modeled three sentinel mutant alleles of PTEN identified in patients with Cowden syndrome and show that the nonsense Pten(4-5) and missense Pten(C124R) and Pten(G129E) alleles lacking lipid phosphatase activity cause similar developmental abnormalities but distinct tumor spectra with varying severity and age of onset. Allele-specific differences may be accounted for by loss of function for Pten(4-5), hypomorphic function for Pten(C124R), and gain of function for Pten(G129E). These data demonstrate that the variable tumor phenotypes observed in patients with Cowden and BRR syndromes can be attributed to specific mutations in PTEN that alter protein function through distinct mechanisms.

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