PTEN deficiency: a role in mammary carcinogenesis

Breast Cancer Res. 2001;3(6):356-60. doi: 10.1186/bcr322. Epub 2001 Oct 1.


The PTEN gene is often mutated in primary human tumors and cell lines, but the low rate of somatic PTEN mutation in human breast cancer has led to debate over the role of this tumor suppressor in this disease. The involvement of PTEN in human mammary oncogenesis has been implicated from studies showing that germline PTEN mutation in Cowden disease predisposes to breast cancer, the frequent loss of heterozygosity at the PTEN locus, and reduced PTEN protein levels in sporadic breast cancers. To assay the potential contribution of PTEN loss in breast tumor promotion, Li et al. [1] crossed Pten heterozygous mice with mouse mammary tumor virus-Wnt-1 transgenic (Wnt-1 TG, Pten+/-) mice. Mammary ductal carcinoma developed earlier in Wnt-1 TG, Pten+/- mice than in mice bearing either genetic change alone, and showed frequent loss of the remaining wild-type PTEN allele. These data indicate a role for PTEN in breast tumorigenesis in an in vivo model.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / genetics*
  • Mice
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / deficiency*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / deficiency*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics


  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human