Prostate Cancer Caused By Pten

June 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

If you are wondering about Prostate cancer caused by Pten or by the Pten mutation, this article is surely going to be very helpful.

It was in spring of 1997 that two teams of researchers discovered a gene called PTEN (or MMAC1) that appears to be disabled or deleted in cancers of the breast, prostate, and kidney as well as in the brain cancer glioblastoma. It was from than that researchers started to imagine that in its normal form, this PTEN, a tumor-suppressor protein, would act as a brake to help prevent abnormal cells from growing into tumors in the human body.

And could they have been more right? Only recently, it was determined specifically by a team of researchers out of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the University Of California Los Angeles School Of Medicine, Los Angeles, California. They determined that prostate-specific deletion of the murine PTEN tumor suppressor gene actually leads to metastatic prostate cancer.

The PTEN tumor suppressor gene is frequently mutated in human cancers. It is a phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10, according to findings from one study. Its major function relies on its phosphatase activity toward phosphatidyl inositol 3,4,5-triphosphate, or PIP3, and as a result of that, the antagonism of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or PI3K. The loss of PTEN function results in accumulation of PIP3 and activation of its downstream effectors, leading to increased cell metabolism, growth, survival, and invasiveness, all hallmarks of various forms of cancer.

PTEN is one of the most commonly lost tumor suppressors in many human forms of cancer. A prostate cancer tumor is forming and developing, for instance, it often results in the mutation and deletion of PTEN, which inactivates its enzymatic activity, leading to increased cell proliferation and reduced cell death. Prostate cancer incidentally is one of those cancers that results in frequent genetic inactivation of PTEN; other forms of human cancer that have similar characteristics include glioblastoma and endometrial cancer. And naturally, lung and breast cancers are not far behind.

It has even been found that PTEN mutation actually causes a variety of inherited predispositions to prostate cancer. In which end, efforts are now being focused on how to prevent such a happenstance in order to keep the disease from occurring in a patient, or how to reverse the process (if possible) as a potential cure for the malady. To that end, it has been determined that PTEN null prostate cancers regress after androgen ablation, even though they are still able to proliferate in the absence of androgen. As such, there are still more questions than answers, but researches are still well underway with results promising to improve the spate of prostate cancer treatment across the entire globe.

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