New insights into tumor suppression: PTEN suppresses tumor formation by restraining the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathway
The most recently discovered PTEN tumor suppressor gene has been found to be defective in a large number of human cancers. In addition, germ-line mutations in PTEN result in the dominantly inherited disease Cowden syndrome, which is characterized by multiple hamartomas and a high proclivity for developing cancer. A series of publications over the past year now suggest a mechanism by which PTEN loss of function results in tumors. PTEN appears to negatively control the phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling pathway for regulation of cell growth and survival by dephosphorylating the 3 position of phosphoinositides.