PTEN self-regulates through USP11 via the PI3K-FOXO pathway to stabilize tumor suppression

Mi Kyung Park, Yixin Yao, Weiya Xia, Stephanie Rebecca Setijono, Jae Hwan Kim, Isabelle K. Vila, Hui Hsuan Chiu, Yun Wu, Enrique González Billalabeitia, Min Gyu Lee, Robert Gordon Kalb, Mien Chie Hung, Pier Paolo Pandolfi, Su Jung Song, Min Sup Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


PTEN is a lipid phosphatase that antagonizes the PI3K/AKT pathway and is recognized as a major dose-dependent tumor suppressor. The cellular mechanisms that control PTEN levels therefore offer potential routes to therapy, but these are as yet poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that PTEN plays an unexpected role in regulating its own stability through the transcriptional upregulation of the deubiquitinase USP11 by the PI3K/FOXO pathway, and further show that this feedforward mechanism is implicated in its tumor-suppressive role, as mice lacking Usp11 display increased susceptibility to PTEN-dependent tumor initiation, growth and metastasis. Notably, USP11 is downregulated in cancer patients, and correlates with PTEN expression and FOXO nuclear localization. Our findings therefore demonstrate that PTEN-PI3K-FOXO-USP11 constitute the regulatory feedforward loop that improves the stability and tumor suppressive activity of PTEN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number636
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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