The key roles of PTEN in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia development, progression, and therapeutic response

Alberto M. Martelli, Francesca Paganelli, Antonietta Fazio, Chiara Bazzichetto, Fabiana Conciatori, James A. McCubrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive blood cancer that comprises 10-15% of pediatric and ~25% of adult ALL cases. Although the curative rates have significantly improved over the past 10 years, especially in pediatric patients, T-ALL remains a challenge from a therapeutic point of view, due to the high number of early relapses that are for the most part resistant to further treatment. Considerable advances in the understanding of the genes, signaling networks, and mechanisms that play crucial roles in the pathobiology of T-ALL have led to the identification of the key drivers of the disease, thereby paving the way for new therapeutic approaches. PTEN is critical to prevent the malignant transformation of T-cells. However, its expression and functions are altered in human T-ALL. PTEN is frequently deleted or mutated, while PTEN protein is often phosphorylated and functionally inactivated by casein kinase 2. Different murine knockout models recapitulating the development of T-ALL have demonstrated that PTEN abnormalities are at the hub of an intricate oncogenic network sustaining and driving leukemia development by activating several signaling cascades associated with drug-resistance and poor outcome. These aspects and their possible therapeutic implications are highlighted in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetic anomalies
  • Lipid phosphatase
  • PI3K/Akt/mTOR
  • Prognosis
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The key roles of PTEN in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia development, progression, and therapeutic response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this