PTEN in Immunity

Antonella Papa, Pier Paolo Pandolfi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


The tumor suppressor PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin homolog deleted on Chromosome 10) executes critical biological functions that limit cellular growth and proliferation. PTEN inhibits activation of the proto-oncogenic PI3K pathway and is required during embryogenesis and to suppress tumor formation and cancer progression throughout life. The critical role that PTEN plays in restraining cellular growth has been validated through the generation of a number of animal models whereby PTEN inactivation invariably leads to tumor formation in a cell-autonomous fashion. However, the increasing understanding of the mechanisms through which the immune system contributes to suppressing tumor progression has highlighted how, in a cell non-autonomous fashion, cancer-associated mutations can indirectly enhance oncogenesis by evading immune cell recognition. Here, in light of the essential role of PTEN in the regulation of immune cell development and function, and based on recent findings showing that PTEN loss can promote resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors in various tumor types, we re-evaluate our understanding of the mechanisms through which PTEN functions as a tumor suppressor and postulate that this task is achieved through a combination of cell autonomous and non-autonomous effects. We highlight some of the critical studies that have delineated the functional role of PTEN in immune cell development and blood malignancies and propose new strategies for the treatment of PTEN loss-driven diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPI3K and AKT Isoforms in Immunity
Subtitle of host publicationMechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities
EditorsMargarita Dominguez-Villar
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783031065668
ISBN (Print)9783031065651
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
ISSN (Print)0070-217X
ISSN (Electronic)2196-9965


  • Cancer resistance
  • Immune cell development
  • Immunotherapy
  • PTEN
  • Tumor suppression

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