Human cancer, PTEN and the PI-3 kinase pathway

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004 Apr;15(2):171-6. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2003.12.021.


The PI-3 kinase pathway is a major driving force for human cancer. One common way of stimulating the PI-3 kinase pathway occurs through inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor. The mechanisms of PTEN inactivation include mutation, epigenetic silencing and post-translational modification. Improved insight into the regulation of PTEN is leading to a richer understanding of the contribution of PTEN and the PI-3 kinase pathway to human tumors. Understanding the pathology of PI-3 kinase signaling in tumors improves knowledge of cancer etiology and provides novel therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / chemistry
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism*


  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human