Poly-ADP ribosylation of PTEN by tankyrases promotes PTEN degradation and tumor growth

Nan Li, Yajie Zhang, Xin Han, Ke Liang, Jiadong Wang, Lin Feng, Wenqi Wang, Zhou Songyang, Chunru Lin, Liuqing Yang, Yonghao Yu, Junjie Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


PTEN [phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10], a phosphatase and critical tumor suppressor, is regulated by numerous post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation, ubiquitination, acetylation, and SUMOylation, which affect PTEN localization and protein stability. Here we report ADP-ribosylation as a new post-translational modification of PTEN. We identified PTEN as a novel substrate of tankyrases, which are members of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs). We showed that tankyrases interact with and ribosylate PTEN, which promotes the recognition of PTEN by a PAR-binding E3 ubiquitin ligase, RNF146, leading to PTEN ubiquitination and degradation. Double knockdown of tankyrase1/2 stabilized PTEN, resulting in the subsequent down-regulation of AKT phosphorylation and thus suppressed cell proliferation and glycolysis in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, tankyrases were up-regulated and negatively correlated with PTEN expression in human colon carcinomas. Together, our study revealed a new regulation of PTEN and highlighted a role for tankyrases in the PTEN-AKT pathway that can be explored further for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2015


  • PARsylation
  • PTEN
  • RNF146
  • Tankyrase
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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