PTEN dephosphorylates Abi1 to promote epithelial morphogenesis

Yanmei Qi, Jie Liu, Joshua Chao, Peter A. Greer, Shaohua Li

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1 Scopus citations


The tumor suppressor PTEN is essential for early development. Its lipid phosphatase activity converts PIP3 to PIP2 and antagonizes the PI3K Akt pathway. In this study, we demonstrate that PTEN s protein phosphatase activity is required for epiblast epithelial differentiation and polarization. This is accomplished by reconstitution of PTEN-null embryoid bodies with PTEN mutants that lack only PTEN s lipid phosphatase activity or both PTEN s lipid and protein phosphatase activities. Phosphotyrosine antibody immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry were used to identify Abi1, a core component of the WASP-family verprolin homologous protein (WAVE) regulatory complex (WRC), as a new PTEN substrate. We demonstrate that PTEN dephosphorylation of Abi1 at Y213 and S216 results in Abi1 degradation through the calpain pathway. This leads to down-regulation of the WRC and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. The latter is critical to the transformation of nonpolar pluripotent stem cells into the polarized epiblast epithelium. Our findings establish a link between PTEN and WAVE-Arp2/3 regulated actin cytoskeletal dynamics in epithelial morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjcb.201910041
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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