Bioessays 39 (10):1700082 (2017)

Faithful DNA replication and accurate chromosome segregation are the key machineries of genetic transmission. Disruption of these processes represents a hallmark of cancer and often results from loss of tumor suppressors. PTEN is an important tumor suppressor that is frequently mutated or deleted in human cancer. Loss of PTEN has been associated with aneuploidy and poor prognosis in cancer patients. In mice, Pten deletion or mutation drives genomic instability and tumor development. PTEN deficiency induces DNA replication stress, confers stress tolerance, and disrupts mitotic spindle architecture, leading to accumulation of structural and numerical chromosome instability. Therefore, PTEN guards the genome by controlling multiple processes of chromosome inheritance. Here, we summarize current understanding of the PTEN function in promoting high-fidelity transmission of genetic information. We also discuss the PTEN pathways of genome maintenance and highlight potential targets for cancer treatment. PTEN is a guardian of the genome. However, the role of PTEN in guarding the genome has not been revealed until recently. PTEN controls multiple fundamental processes of genomic transmission. By physically interacting with key molecules in DNA replication, DNA repair/decatenation, and chromosome segregation during the cell cycle, PTEN maintains genomicintegrity and fitness.
Keywords DNA replication  PTEN  checkpoint  chromosome segregation  genome  mitotic spindle
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DOI 10.1002/bies.201700082
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