UNLABELLED: Abstract Aims: A recent study conducted in mice reported that liver-specific knockout of tumor suppressor Pten augments nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) transcriptional activity. Here, we further investigated how phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) controls NRF2 and the relevance of this pathway in human carcin ogenesis. RESULTS: Drug and genetic targeting to PTEN and phosphoproteomics approaches indicated that PTEN leads to glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3)-mediated phosphorylation of NRF2 at residues Ser(335) and Ser(338) and subsequent beta-transducin repeat containing protein (β-TrCP)-dependent but Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1)-independent degradation. Rescue experiments in PTEN-deficient cells and xerographs in athymic mice indicated that loss of PTEN leads to increased NRF2 signature which provides a proliferating and tumorigenic advantage. Tissue microarrays from endometrioid carcinomas showed that 80% of PTEN-negative tumors expressed high levels of NRF2 or its target heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). INNOVATION: These results uncover a new mechanism of oncogenic activation of NRF2 by loss of its negative regulation by PTEN/GSK-3/β-TrCP that may be relevant to a large number of tumors, including endometrioid carcinomas. CONCLUSION: Increased activity of NRF2 due to loss of PTEN is instrumental in human carcinogenesis and represents a novel therapeutic target. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 2498-2514.
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, 2014, Vol 21, Issue 18, p. 2498-514