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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

PTEN gene loss, but not mutation, in benign and malignant phaeochromocytomas.

Mutations of the 'phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10' (PTEN/ MMAC1) gene have been associated with a variety of human cancers, including prostate cancer, glioblastoma, and melanoma. The gene is thought to be one of the most frequently mutated tumour suppressor genes and inactivation of PTEN is associated with disease progression and angiogenesis. High vascularization and resistance to chemo- and radio-therapy are two well-established features of phaeochromocytomas (PCCs). Furthermore, benign and malignant PCCs are found in several PTEN knockout mouse models. This study therefore evaluated whether inactivation of PTEN may be involved in the tumourigenesis of PCC in man and whether PTEN abnormalities may help to define the malignant potential of these tumours. Tumour and germline DNA was analysed from 31 patients with apparently sporadic PCC, including 14 clinically benign and 17 malignant tumours, for loss of the PTEN gene locus, mutations in the PTEN gene, and for PTEN protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis showed loss of PTEN in four malignant tumours (40%) and in one benign tumour (14%). However, no mutations of PTEN were observed. Immunohistochemistry showed no correlation with clinical behaviour and/or LOH status. The results indicate that inactivation of the PTEN/ MMAC1 gene may play a minor role in the development of malignant phaeochromocytomas.[1]


  1. PTEN gene loss, but not mutation, in benign and malignant phaeochromocytomas. van Nederveen, F.H., Perren, A., Dannenberg, H., Petri, B.J., Dinjens, W.N., Komminoth, P., de Krijger, R.R. J. Pathol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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