Phosphatase and Tensin homolog (PTEN) is a negative regulator of class I phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K), which is involved in the activation of cell growth. Mutations that result in loss of PTEN function have been associated with diseases like glioblastoma, carcinoma, and breast cancer. Growth factors, chemokines, and other signals stimulate the recruitment of PI3K to the plasma membrane for phosphorylation of lipid second messengers PIP and PIP2, generating PIP3. PIP3 goes on to activate signaling pathways like AKT that control cell proliferation and migration. PTEN blocks PI3K function by dephosphorylating PIP3 and PIP2, thereby acting as an important suppressor of cell growth.
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