At the plasma membrane, phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate 3-phosphatase and dual-specificity protein phosphatase aka phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) dephosphorylates phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PI(3,4,5)P3) to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) (Maehama & Dixon 1998, Myers et al. 1998, Das et al. 2003). The PI3K network is negatively regulated by phospholipid phosphatases that dephosphorylate PIP3, thus hampering AKT activation (Myers et al. 1998). The tumour suppressor PTEN is the primary phospholipid phosphatase.
Early studies indicated that magnesium ion, Mg2+, was needed for the catalytic activity of PTEN isolated from bovine thymus (Kabuyama et al. 1996). Subsequent studies have shown that PTEN was catalytically active in buffers free of magnesium and magnesium was not detected as part of the PTEN crystal (Lee et al. 1999).