The importance of PTEN in cellular function is underscored by the frequency of its deregulation in cancer. PTEN tumor-suppressor activity depends largely on its lipid phosphatase activity, which opposes PI3K/AKT activation. As such, PTEN regulates many cellular processes, including proliferation, survival, energy metabolism, cellular architecture, and motility. More than a decade of research has expanded our knowledge about how PTEN is controlled at the transcriptional level as well as by numerous posttranscriptional modifications that regulate its enzymatic activity, protein stability, and cellular location. Although the role of PTEN in cancers has long been appreciated, it is also emerging as an important factor in other diseases, such as diabetes and autism spectrum disorders. Our understanding of PTEN function and regulation will hopefully translate into improved prognosis and treatment for patients suffering from these ailments.
Keywords: cancer; phosphatase; tumor suppressor.