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Gary, DS and Mattson, MP (2002) PTEN regulates Akt kinase activity in hippocampal neurons and increases their sensitivity to glutamate and apoptosis. Neuromolecular Med. 2:261-9


The tumor suppressor phosphatase PTEN can promote apoptosis of mitotic cells by inhibiting activation of the cell survival kinase Akt. PTEN is essential for normal embryonic development, PTEN expression is associated with neuronal differentiation, and deletion of PTEN in the mouse brain results in seizures, ataxia, and other abnormalities. However, the possible roles of PTEN in regulating neuronal survival are not known. We provide evidence that PTEN sensitizes hippocampal neurons to excitotoxic death in culture and in vivo. Overexpression of wild-type PTEN decreased, while a dominant-negative PTEN increased, levels of activated Akt in cultured hippocampal neurons. Wild-type PTEN promoted, while dominant-negative PTEN prevented, apoptotic death of neurons exposed to the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate. Hippocampal neurons of mice with reduced PTEN levels were more resistant to seizure-induced death compared to wild-type littermates. These findings demonstrate a cell death function of PTEN in hippocampal neurons and identify PTEN as a potential therapeutic target for neurodegenerative disorders that involve excitotoxicity and apoptosis. The ability of PTEN to modify neuronal sensitivity to glutamate also suggests possible roles for PTEN in regulating developmental and synaptic plasticity.


PubMed Online version:10.1385/NMM:2:3:261


Animals; Apoptosis/drug effects; Apoptosis/genetics; Cells, Cultured; Fetus; Glutamic Acid/metabolism; Glutamic Acid/pharmacology; Green Fluorescent Proteins; Hippocampus/drug effects; Hippocampus/enzymology; Immunohistochemistry; Luminescent Proteins/diagnostic use; Male; Mice; Mice, Knockout; Neurodegenerative Diseases/enzymology; Neurodegenerative Diseases/genetics; Neurons/drug effects; Neurons/enzymology; Neurotoxins/metabolism; Neurotoxins/pharmacology; PTEN Phosphohydrolase; Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases/deficiency; Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases/genetics; Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases; Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt; Rats; Recombinant Fusion Proteins/diagnostic use; Tumor Suppressor Proteins/deficiency; Tumor Suppressor Proteins/genetics



Gene product Qualifier GO Term Evidence Code with/from Aspect Extension Notes Status


GO:0016314: phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate 3-phosphatase activity



Figure one shows that Akt activity in hippocampal neurons is regulated by PTEN

CACAO 2109

See also


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