Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) signalling might influence neuronal survival after brain ischemia. However, the influence of the less studied longer variant termed PTEN-L (or PTENα) has not been studied to date. Therefore, we examined the translational variant PTEN-L in the context of neuronal survival. We identified PTEN-L by proteomics in murine neuronal cultures and brain lysates and established a novel model to analyse PTEN or PTEN-L variants independently in vitro while avoiding overexpression. We found that PTEN-L, unlike PTEN, localises predominantly in the cytosol and translocates to the nucleus 10–20 minutes after glutamate stress. Genomic ablation of PTEN and PTEN-L increased neuronal susceptibility to oxygen-glucose deprivation. This effect was rescued by expression of either PTEN-L indicating that both PTEN isoforms might contribute to a neuroprotective response. However, in direct comparison, PTEN-L replaced neurons were protected against ischemic-like stress compared to neurons expressing PTEN. Neurons expressing strictly nuclear PTEN-L NLS showed increased vulnerability, indicating that nuclear PTEN-L alone is not sufficient in protecting against stress. We identified mutually exclusive binding partners of PTEN-L or PTEN in cytosolic or nuclear fractions, which were regulated after ischemic-like stress. GRB2-associated-binding protein 2, which is known to interact with phosphoinositol-3-kinase, was enriched specifically with PTEN-L in the cytosol in proximity to the plasma membrane and their interaction was lost after glutamate exposure. The present study revealed that PTEN and PTEN-L have distinct functions in response to stress and might be involved in different mechanisms of neuroprotection.