Characterization of PTEN mutations in brain cancer reveals that pten mono-ubiquitination promotes protein stability and nuclear localization.
ABSTRACT: PTEN is a PIP3 phosphatase that antagonizes oncogenic PI3-kinase signalling. Due to its critical role in suppressing the potent signalling pathway, it is one of the most mutated tumour suppressors, especially in brain tumours. It is generally thought that PTEN deficiencies predominantly result from either loss of expression or enzymatic activity. By analysing PTEN in malignant glioblastoma primary cells derived from 16 of our patients, we report mutations that block localization of PTEN at the plasma membrane and nucleus without affecting lipid phosphatase activity. Cellular and biochemical analyses as well as structural modelling revealed that two mutations disrupt intramolecular interaction of PTEN and open its conformation, enhancing polyubiquitination of PTEN and decreasing protein stability. Moreover, promoting mono-ubiquitination increases protein stability and nuclear localization of mutant PTEN. Thus, our findings provide a molecular mechanism for cancer-associated PTEN defects and may lead to a brain cancer treatment that targets PTEN mono-ubiquitination.
Project description:The PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) tumor suppressor is a phosphatase that inhibits phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent signaling by metabolizing the phosphoinositide lipid phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PtdInsP(3)) at the plasma membrane. PTEN can be mono- or polyubiquitinated, and this appears to control its nuclear localization and stability, respectively. Although PTEN phosphorylation at a cluster of C-terminal serine and threonine residues has been shown to stabilize the protein and inhibit polyubiquitination and plasma membrane localization, details of the regulation of ubiquitination are unclear. Here, we show that plasma membrane targeting of PTEN greatly enhances PTEN ubiquitination and that phosphorylation of PTEN in vitro does not affect subsequent ubiquitination. These data suggest that C-terminal phosphorylation indirectly regulates ubiquitination by controlling membrane localization. We also show that either mono- or polyubiquitination in vitro greatly reduces PTEN phosphatase activity. Finally, we show that hyperosmotic stress increases both PTEN ubiquitination and cellular PtdInsP(3) levels well before a reduction in PTEN protein levels is observed. Both PTEN ubiquitination and elevated PtdInsP(3) levels were reduced within 10 min after removal of the hyperosmotic stress. Our data indicate that ubiquitination may represent a regulated mechanism of direct reversible control over the PTEN enzyme.
Project description:The tumor suppressive function of PTEN is exerted within 2 different cellular compartments. In the cytosol-membrane, it negatively regulates PI3K-AKT pathway through the de-phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate (PIP3), therefore blocking one of the major signaling transduction pathways in tumorigenesis. In the nucleus, PTEN controls genomic stability and cellular proliferation through phosphatase independent mechanisms. Importantly, impairments in PTEN cellular compartmentalization, changes in protein levels and post-transductional modifications affect PTEN tumor suppressive functions. Targeting mechanisms that inactivate PTEN promotes apoptosis induction of cancer cells, without affecting normal cells, with appealing therapeutic implications. Recently, we have shown that BCR-ABL promotes PTEN nuclear exclusion by favoring HAUSP mediated PTEN de-ubiquitination in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Here, we show that nuclear exclusion of PTEN is associated with PTEN inactivation in the cytoplasm of CML cells. In particular, BCR-ABL promotes Casein Kinase II-mediated PTEN tail phosphorylation with consequent inhibition of the phosphatase activity toward PIP3. Targeting Casein Kinase II promotes PTEN reactivation with apoptosis induction. We therefore propose a novel BCR-ABL/CKII/PTEN pathway as a potential target to achieve synthetic lethality with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Project description:Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) and PIP3 phosphatase (PTEN) are enriched mutually exclusively on the anterior and posterior membranes of eukaryotic motile cells. However, the mechanism that causes this spatial separation between the two molecules is unknown. Here we develop a method to manipulate PIP3 levels in living cells and used it to show PIP3 suppresses the membrane localization of PTEN. Single-molecule measurements of membrane-association and -dissociation kinetics and of lateral diffusion reveal that PIP3 suppresses the PTEN binding site required for stable PTEN membrane binding. Mutual inhibition between PIP3 and PTEN provides a mechanistic basis for bistability that creates a PIP3-enriched/PTEN-excluded state and a PTEN-enriched/PIP3-excluded state underlying the strict spatial separation between PIP3 and PTEN. The PTEN binding site also mediates the suppression of PTEN membrane localization in chemotactic signaling. These results illustrate that the PIP3-PTEN bistable system underlies a cell's decision-making for directional movement irrespective of the environment.
Project description:Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a phosphoinositide lipid phosphatase and one of the most frequently disrupted tumor suppressors in many forms of cancer, with even small reductions in the expression levels of PTEN promoting cancer development. Although the post-translational ubiquitination of PTEN can control its stability, activity, and localization, a detailed understanding of how PTEN ubiquitination integrates with other cellular regulatory processes and may be dysregulated in cancer has been hampered by a poor understanding of the significance of ubiquitination at individual sites. Here we show that Lys(66) is not required for cellular activity, yet dominates over other PTEN ubiquitination sites in the regulation of protein stability. Notably, combined mutation of other sites (Lys(13), Lys(80), and Lys(289)) has relatively little effect on protein expression, protein stability, or PTEN polyubiquitination. The present work identifies a key role for Lys(66) in the regulation of PTEN expression and provides both an opportunity to improve the stability of PTEN as a protein therapy and a mechanistic basis for efforts to stabilize endogenous PTEN.
Project description:Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is one of the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor genes in cancers. PTEN has a central role in phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) signaling and converts PIP3 to phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate at the plasma membrane. Despite its importance, the mechanism that mediates membrane localization of PTEN is poorly understood. Here, we generated a library that contains green fluorescent protein fused to randomly mutated human PTEN and expressed the library in Dictyostelium cells. Using live cell imaging, we identified mutations that enhance the association of PTEN with the plasma membrane. These mutations were located in four separate regions, including the phosphatase catalytic site, the calcium-binding region 3 (CBR3) loop, the C?2 loop and the C-terminal tail phosphorylation site. The phosphatase catalytic site, the CBR3 loop and the C?2 loop formed the membrane-binding regulatory interface and interacted with the inhibitory phosphorylated C-terminal tail. Furthermore, we showed that membrane recruitment of PTEN is required for PTEN function in cells. Thus, heterologous expression system in Dictyostelium cells provides mechanistic and functional insight into membrane localization of PTEN.
Project description:PTEN [phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10], a phosphatase and critical tumor suppressor, is regulated by numerous post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation, ubiquitination, acetylation, and SUMOylation, which affect PTEN localization and protein stability. Here we report ADP-ribosylation as a new post-translational modification of PTEN. We identified PTEN as a novel substrate of tankyrases, which are members of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs). We showed that tankyrases interact with and ribosylate PTEN, which promotes the recognition of PTEN by a PAR-binding E3 ubiquitin ligase, RNF146, leading to PTEN ubiquitination and degradation. Double knockdown of tankyrase1/2 stabilized PTEN, resulting in the subsequent down-regulation of AKT phosphorylation and thus suppressed cell proliferation and glycolysis in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, tankyrases were up-regulated and negatively correlated with PTEN expression in human colon carcinomas. Together, our study revealed a new regulation of PTEN and highlighted a role for tankyrases in the PTEN-AKT pathway that can be explored further for cancer treatment.
Project description:The PTEN tumor suppressor is a lipid phosphatase that has a central role in regulating the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) signal transduction cascade. Nevertheless, the mechanism by which the PTEN activity is regulated in cells needs further elucidation. Although previous studies have shown that ubiquitination of PTEN can modulate its stability and subcellular localization, the role of ubiquitination in the most critical aspect of PTEN function, its phosphatase activity, has not been fully addressed. Here, we identify a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase of PTEN, Ret finger protein (RFP), that is able to promote atypical polyubiquitinations of PTEN. These ubiquitinations do not lead to PTEN instability or relocalization, but rather significantly inhibit PTEN phosphatase activity and therefore modulate its ability to regulate the PI3K signal transduction cascade. Indeed, RFP overexpression relieves PTEN-mediated inhibitory effects on AKT activation; in contrast, RNAi-mediated knockdown of endogenous RFP enhances the ability of PTEN to suppress AKT activation. Moreover, RFP-mediated ubiquitination of PTEN inhibits PTEN-dependent activation of TRAIL expression and also suppresses its ability to induce apoptosis. Our findings demonstrate a crucial role of RFP-mediated ubiquitination in controlling PTEN activity.
Project description:Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), which negatively regulates tumorigenic phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) signaling, is a commonly mutated tumor suppressor. The majority of cancer-associated PTEN mutations block its essential PIP3 phosphatase activity. However, there is a group of clinically identified PTEN mutations that maintain enzymatic activity, and it is unknown how these mutations contribute to tumor pathogenesis. Here, we show that these enzymatically competent PTEN mutants fail to translocate to the plasma membrane where PTEN converts PIP3 to PI(4,5)P2. Artificial membrane tethering of the PTEN mutants effectively restores tumor suppressor activity and represses excess PIP3 signaling in cells. Thus, our findings reveal a novel mechanism of tumorigenic PTEN deficiency.
Project description:PTEN is one of the most frequently mutated or deleted tumor suppressors in human cancers. NEDD4-1 was recently identified as the E3 ubiquitin ligase for PTEN; however, a number of important questions remain regarding the role of ubiquitination in regulating PTEN function and the mechanisms by which PTEN ubiquitination is regulated. In the present study, we demonstrated that p34, which was identified as a binding partner of NEDD4-1, controls PTEN ubiquitination by regulating NEDD4-1 protein stability. p34 interacts with the WW1 domain of NEDD4-1, an interaction that enhances NEDD4-1 stability. Expression of p34 promotes PTEN poly-ubiquitination, leading to PTEN protein degradation, whereas p34 knockdown results in PTEN mono-ubiquitination. Notably, an inverse correlation between PTEN and p34/NEDD4-1 levels was confirmed in tumor samples from colon cancer patients. Thus, p34 acts as a key regulator of the oncogenic behavior of NEDD4-1 and PTEN.
Project description:The signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) is a key regulator of cell proliferation, survival, and migration and the enzyme that dephosphorylates it, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), is an important tumor suppressor. As excess PIP3 signaling is a hallmark of many cancers, its suppression through activation of PTEN is a potential cancer intervention. Using a heterologous expression system in which human PTEN-GFP is expressed in Dictyostelium cells, we identified mutations in the membrane-binding regulatory interface that increase the recruitment of PTEN to the plasma membrane due to enhanced association with PI(4,5)P2. We engineered these into an enhanced PTEN (ePTEN) with approximately eightfold increased ability to suppress PIP3 signaling. Upon expression in human cells, ePTEN decreases PIP3 levels in the plasma membrane; phosphorylation of AKT, a major downstream event in PIP3 signaling; and cell proliferation and migration. Thus, the activation of PTEN can readjust PIP3 signaling and may serve as a feasible target for anticancer therapies.