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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characterization of a novel PTEN mutation in MDA-MB-453 breast carcinoma cell line

Gobind Singh1, Leticia Odriozola13, Hong Guan2, Colin R Kennedy2 and Andrew M Chan2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oncological Sciences, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One, Gustave L. Levy Place, New York NY 10029, USA

2 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701, Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee WI 53226, USA

3 Center for Applied Medical Research, Department of Gene Therapy & Hepatology, Avda. Pío XII, 55, 31008-Pamplona, Spain

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:490  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-490

Published: 21 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Cowden Syndrome (CS) patients with germ line point mutations in the PTEN gene are at high risk for developing breast cancer. It is believed that cells harboring these mutant PTEN alleles are predisposed to malignant conversion. This article will characterize the biochemical and biological properties of a mutant PTEN protein found in a commonly used metastatic breast cancer cell line.

Methods

The expression of PTEN in human breast carcinoma cell lines was evaluated by Western blotting analysis. Cell line MDA-MB-453 was selected for further analysis. Mutation analysis of the PTEN gene was carried out using DNA isolated from MDA-MB-453. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to generate a PTEN E307K mutant cDNA and ectopic expressed in PC3, U87MG, MCF7 and Pten-/- mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFS). Histidine (His)-tagged PTEN fusion protein was generated in Sf9 baculovirus expression system. Lipid phosphatase and ubiquitination assays were carried out to characterize the biochemical properties of PTEN E307K mutant. The intracellular localization of PTEN E307K was determined by subcellular fractionation experiments. The ability of PTEN E307K to alter cell growth, migration and apoptosis was analyzed in multiple PTEN-null cell lines.

Results

We found a mutation in the PTEN gene at codon 307 in MDA-MB-453 cell line. The glutamate (E) to lysine (K) substitution rendered the mutant protein to migrate with a faster mobility on SDS-PAGE gels. Biochemically, the PTEN E307K mutant displayed similar lipid phosphatase and growth suppressing activities when compared to wild-type (WT) protein. However, the PTEN E307K mutant was present at higher levels in the membrane fraction and suppressed Akt activation to a greater extent than the WT protein. Additionally, the PTEN E307K mutant was polyubiquitinated to a greater extent by NEDD4-1 and displayed reduced nuclear localization. Finally, the PTEN E307K mutant failed to confer chemosensitivity to cisplatinum when re-expressed in Pten-/- MEFS.

Conclusions

Mutation at codon 307 in PTEN C2 loop alters its subcellular distribution with greater membrane localization while being excluded from the cell nucleus. This mutation may predispose breast epithelial cells to malignant transformation. Also, tumor cells harboring this mutation may be less susceptible to the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutics.