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Open Access Therapeutic Targeting of Cancers with Loss of PTEN Function

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Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is one of the most frequently disrupted tumor suppressors in cancer. The lipid phosphatase activity of PTEN antagonizes the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR pathway to repress tumor cell growth and survival. In the nucleus, PTEN promotes chromosome stability and DNA repair. Consequently, loss of PTEN function increases genomic instability. PTEN deficiency is caused by inherited germline mutations, somatic mutations, epigenetic and transcriptional silencing, post-translational modifications, and protein-protein interactions. Given the high frequency of PTEN deficiency across cancer subtypes, therapeutic approaches that exploit PTEN loss-of-function could provide effective treatment strategies. Herein, we discuss therapeutic strategies aimed at cancers with loss of PTEN function, and the challenges involved in treating patients afflicted with such cancers. We review preclinical and clinical findings, and highlight novel strategies under development to target PTENdeficient cancers.
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Keywords: Cancer; PI3K; mTOR; phosphatase; synthetic lethal; targeted therapy; tumor; tumor suppressor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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