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TNF-α upregulates PTEN via NF-κB signaling pathways in human leukemic cells


TNF-α plays a variety of biological functions such as apoptosis, inflammation and immunity. PTEN also has various cellular function including cell growth, proliferation, migration and differentiation. Thus, possible relationships between the two molecules are suggested. TNF-α has been known to downregulate PTEN via NF-κB pathway in the human colon cell line, HT-29. However, here we show the opposite finding that TNF-α upregulates PTEN via activation of NF-κB in human leukemic cells. TNF-α increased PTEN expression at HL-60 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner, but the response was abolished by disruption of NF-κB with p65 anisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotide or pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate. We found that TNF-α activated the NF-κB pathways, evidenced by the translocation of p65 to the nucleus in TNF-α-treated cells. We conclude that TNF-α induces upregulation of PTEN expression through NF-κB activation in human leukemic cells.

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lee, YR., Yu, HN., Noh, EM. et al. TNF-α upregulates PTEN via NF-κB signaling pathways in human leukemic cells. Exp Mol Med 39, 121–127 (2007).

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  • leukemia
  • NF-κB
  • PTEN phosphohydrolase
  • tumor necrosis factor-α

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