Public Release: 

Tumor suppressor activity of PTEN

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Using transgenic mice specifically lacking the PTEN gene in endothelial cells, Dr. Akira Suzuki and colleagues demonstrate that PTEN is required for normal cardiovascular development and that its loss enhanced tumor angiogenesis.

To be published in the September 1 issue of G&D, this new data suggests that PTEN regulates vascular growth factor (VGF) signaling to modulate cardiovascular development and post-natal neovascularization. Loss of PTEN in murine endothelial cells results is dysregulated VGF signaling, enhanced angiogenesis, and accelerated tumor growth.

Their results suggest that an individual who inherits a mutated PTEN allele, such as Cowden disease patient, is not only at risk for additional tumorigenic mutations, but may also experience accelerated growth of tumors due to enhanced angiogenesis. Moreover, the PTEN/PI3K pathway in endothelial cells is an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of various malignancies.

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