The tumour suppressor protein PTEN is inactivated in many cancers including prostate cancer, now a protein, α-mannosidase 2C1, is shown to inactivate PTEN function in prostate cancer cells. These findings, reported in Nature Communications this week, enhance our knowledge of tumour development in prostate cancer.
The mechanisms leading to tumourigenesis are complex. Damu Tang and colleagues identify a protein, α-mannosidase 2C1, that can inactivate the tumour suppressor PTEN. The team injected prostate cancer cells over-expressing α-mannosidase 2C1 into mice and found that they formed tumours. They also show that human prostate tumours that express PTEN protein have high levels of α-mannosidase 2C1. Analysis of prostate cancer survival demonstrates that α-mannosidase 2C1 is associated with decreased recurrence free survival.
Further investigation of the role of α-mannosidase 2C1 in prostate cancer both in mice in the laboratory and in human samples is warranted to improve our understanding of this disease.