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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019 Sep 9. pii: a036293. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a036293. [Epub ahead of print]

Precise Immunodetection of PTEN Protein in Human Neoplasia.

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Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Barakaldo 48903, Spain.
Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao 48011, Spain.
Department of Pathology, Cruces University Hospital, Barakaldo 48903, Spain.
Department of Tumor Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital Radiumhospitalet, Oslo N-0310, Norway.
Department of Urology, University Hospital of Getafe, Getafe, Madrid 28904, Spain.
Clinical Department, European University of Madrid, Laureate Universities, Madrid 28904, Spain.
University of the Basque Country, Leioa 48940, Spain.


PTEN is a major tumor-suppressor protein whose expression and biological activity are frequently diminished in sporadic or inherited cancers. PTEN gene deletion or loss-of-function mutations favor tumor cell growth and are commonly found in clinical practice. In addition, diminished PTEN protein expression is also frequently observed in tumor samples from cancer patients in the absence of PTEN gene alterations. This makes PTEN protein levels a potential biomarker parameter in clinical oncology, which can guide therapeutic decisions. The specific detection of PTEN protein can be achieved by using highly defined anti-PTEN monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), characterized with precision in terms of sensitivity for the detection technique, specificity for PTEN binding, and constraints of epitope recognition. This is especially relevant taking into consideration that PTEN is highly targeted by mutations and posttranslational modifications, and different PTEN protein isoforms exist. The precise characterization of anti-PTEN mAb reactivity is an important step in the validation of these reagents as diagnostic and prognostic tools in clinical oncology, including their routine use in analytical immunohistochemistry (IHC). Here, we review the current status on the use of well-defined anti-PTEN mAbs for PTEN immunodetection in the clinical context and discuss their potential usefulness and limitations for a more precise cancer diagnosis and patient benefit.

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