Mutation-specific non-canonical pathway of PTEN as a distinct therapeutic target for glioblastoma

Seung Won Choi, Yeri Lee, Kayoung Shin, Harim Koo, Donggeon Kim, Jason K. Sa, Hee Jin Cho, Hye mi Shin, Se Jeong Lee, Hyunho Kim, Seok Chung, Jihye Shin, Cheolju Lee, Do Hyun Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


PTEN is one of the most frequently altered tumor suppressor genes in malignant tumors. The dominant-negative effect of PTEN alteration suggests that the aberrant function of PTEN mutation might be more disastrous than deletion, the most frequent genomic event in glioblastoma (GBM). This study aimed to understand the functional properties of various PTEN missense mutations and to investigate their clinical relevance. The genomic landscape of PTEN alteration was analyzed using the Samsung Medical Center GBM cohort and validated via The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset. Several hotspot mutations were identified, and their subcellular distributions and phenotypes were evaluated. We established a library of cancer cell lines that overexpress these mutant proteins using the U87MG and patient-derived cell models lacking functional PTEN. PTEN mutations were categorized into two major subsets: missense mutations in the phosphatase domain and truncal mutations in the C2 domain. We determined the subcellular compartmentalization of four mutant proteins (H93Y, C124S, R130Q, and R173C) from the former group and found that they had distinct localizations; those associated with invasive phenotypes (‘edge mutations’) localized to the cell periphery, while the R173C mutant localized to the nucleus. Invasive phenotypes derived from edge substitutions were unaffected by an anti-PI3K/Akt agent but were disrupted by microtubule inhibitors. PTEN mutations exhibit distinct functional properties regarding their subcellular localization. Further, some missense mutations (‘edge mutations’) in the phosphatase domain caused enhanced invasiveness associated with dysfunctional cytoskeletal assembly, thus suggesting it to be a potent therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Article number374
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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