Dual roles

Suppressing cancer and autoimmunity?

Science's STKE  28 Sep 1999:
Vol. 1999, Issue 1, pp. tw12
DOI: 10.1126/stke.1999.1.tw12

Mutations of the Pten tumor suppressor gene, which encodes a phosphatase, occur in both sporadic and inherited human cancers. Di Cristofano et al. show that mice carrying heterozygous mutations in Pten develop lymphomas and suffer from autoimmune disease in a manner similar to that seen in mice with inactivating mutations in Fas or Fas ligand. T and B cells from the Pten heterozygous mice were impaired in Fas-mediated apoptosis. These results implicate Pten in the Fas response and suggest that it may play a role as a suppressor of autoimmunity as well as cancer.

Di Cristofano, A., Kotsi, P., Peng, Y.F., Cordon-Cardo, C., Elkon, K.B., and Pandolfi, P.P. (1999) Impaired Fas response and autoimmunity in Pten +/- mice. Science 285: 2122-2125. [Abstract] [Full Text]