Topic Completed: 1 July 2016

Revised: 8 March 2019

Copyright: 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: PTEN [title]

Angela M.Y. Chan, M.Sc.
Page views in 2018: 1,739
Page views in 2019 to date: 1,850
Cite this page: Chan A, Enwere E. PTEN. website. Accessed October 17th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • See also topic in Molecular Pathology chapter
  • Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome TEN (at 10q23)
  • PTEN gene encodes a 403 amino acid cytosolic lipid phosphatase that negatively regulates AKT activity by dephosphorylating phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3)
  • There is a secreted form of PTEN referred to as PTEN-Long or PTEN-L; PTEN-L includes an extra 173 amino acids at the N terminal of PTEN; PTEN-L secreted from one cell can exhibit phosphatase activity in neighboring cells (Science 2013;341:399)
  • PTENĪ± is an isoform of PTEN that also contains a 173 amino acid N terminal extension; it is localized to the mitochondria (Cell Metab 2014;19:836)
  • Tumor suppressor gene that is commonly lost in human cancer
  • Has important role in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis
  • Heavily regulated by post-translational modifications, including:
    • Oxidation or nitrosylation (C71, C124, C83)
    • Ubiquitination (K13 and K289)
    • SUMOlyation (K254, K266)
    • Acetylation (K125, K128, K163, K402)
  • Also called Mutated in Multiple Advanced Cancers 1 (MMAC1)
Diagrams / tables

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Fig 1

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PTEN structure

Clinical features
Uses by pathologists
  • Loss of nuclear PTEN expression in adenomatous thyroid nodules is sensitive and specific for Cowden syndrome (Am J Surg Pathol 2011;35:1505)
  • Loss of cytoplasmic PTEN may distinguish intraductal prostatic carcinoma from high grade PIN (Mod Pathol 2013;26:587)
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Colon, carcinoma & adenoma

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Uterus, endometrial carcinoma

Positive staining - normal
  • Found in almost all body tissue
Positive staining - disease
  • Various carcinomas
Negative staining
  • Frequent loss of expression in carcinoma
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