, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 157-175,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Nov 2009

Protein tyrosine phosphatases in glioma biology


Gliomas are a diverse group of brain tumors of glial origin. Most are characterized by diffuse infiltrative growth in the surrounding brain. In combination with their refractive nature to chemotherapy this makes it almost impossible to cure patients using combinations of conventional therapeutic strategies. The drastically increased knowledge about the molecular underpinnings of gliomas during the last decade has elicited high expectations for a more rational and effective therapy for these tumors. Most studies on the molecular pathways involved in glioma biology thus far had a strong focus on growth factor receptor protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) and phosphatidylinositol phosphatase signaling pathways. Except for the tumor suppressor PTEN, much less attention has been paid to the PTK counterparts, the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) superfamily, in gliomas. PTPs are instrumental in the reversible phosphorylation of tyrosine residues and have emerged as important regulators of signaling pathways that are linked to various developmental and disease-related processes. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge on PTP involvement in gliomagenesis. So far, the data point to the potential implication of receptor-type (RPTPδ, DEP1, RPTPμ, RPTPζ) and intracellular (PTP1B, TCPTP, SHP2, PTPN13) classical PTPs, dual-specific PTPs (MKP-1, VHP, PRL-3, KAP, PTEN) and the CDC25B and CDC25C PTPs in glioma biology. Like PTKs, these PTPs may represent promising targets for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in the treatment of high-grade gliomas.