PTEN, a phosphoinositide-3-phosphatase, serves dual roles as a tumor suppressor and regulator of cellular anabolic/catabolic metabolism. Adaptation of a redox-sensitive cysteinyl thiol in PTEN for signal transduction by hydrogen peroxide may have superimposed a vulnerability to other mediators of oxidative stress and inflammation, especially reactive carbonyl species, which are commonly occurring by-products of arachidonic acid peroxidation. Using MCF7 and HEK-293 cells, we report that several reactive aldehydes and ketones, e.g. electrophilic α,β-enals (acrolein, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal) and α,β-enones (prostaglandin A(2), Δ12-prostaglandin J(2) and 15-deoxy-Δ-12,14-prostaglandin J(2)) covalently modify and inactivate cellular PTEN, with ensuing activation of PKB/Akt kinase; phosphorylation of Akt substrates; increased cell proliferation; and increased nuclear β-catenin signaling. Alkylation of PTEN by α,β-enals/enones and interference with its restraint of cellular PKB/Akt signaling may accentuate hyperplastic and neoplastic disorders associated with chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, or aging.
Covey TM, Edes K, Coombs GS, Virshup DM, Fitzpatrick FA. Alkylation of the Tumor Suppressor PTEN Activates Akt and β-Catenin Signaling: A Mechanism Linking Inflammation and Oxidative Stress with Cancer. PLoS One. 2010; 5(10). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013545.