A comprehensive functional analysis of PTEN mutations: Implications in tumor- and autism-related syndromes

Departamento de Microbiología II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigaciones Sanitarias, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.39). 08/2011; 20(21):4132-42. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddr337
Source: PubMed


The PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) phosphatase is unique in mammals in terms of its tumor suppressor activity, exerted by dephosphorylation of the lipid second messenger PIP(3) (phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate), which activates the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) oncogenic pathway. Loss-of-function mutations in the PTEN gene are frequent in human cancer and in the germline of patients with PTEN hamartoma tumor-related syndromes (PHTSs). In addition, PTEN is mutated in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), although no functional information on these mutations is available. Here, we report a comprehensive in vivo functional analysis of human PTEN using a heterologous yeast reconstitution system. Ala-scanning mutagenesis at the catalytic loops of PTEN outlined the critical role of residues within the P-catalytic loop for PIP(3) phosphatase activity in vivo. PTEN mutations that mimic the P-catalytic loop of mammalian PTEN-like proteins (TPTE, TPIP, tensins and auxilins) affected PTEN function variably, whereas tumor- or PHTS-associated mutations targeting the PTEN P-loop produced complete loss of function. Conversely, Ala-substitutions, as well as tumor-related mutations at the WPD- and TI-catalytic loops, displayed partial activity in many cases. Interestingly, a tumor-related D92N mutation was partially active, supporting the notion that the PTEN Asp92 residue might not function as the catalytic general acid. The analysis of a panel of ASD-associated hereditary PTEN mutations revealed that most of them did not substantially abrogate PTEN activity in vivo, whereas most of PHTS-associated mutations did. Our findings reveal distinctive functional patterns among PTEN mutations found in tumors and in the germline of PHTS and ASD patients, which could be relevant for therapy.

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