Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

p53 is frequently mutated in cancer and as a result is one of the most intensely studied tumour suppressors. Analysis of the primitive forms of p53 found in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila, alongside studies using transgenic mouse models, indicate that the induction of apoptosis is both the most conserved function of p53 and vital for tumour suppression. p53-mediated apoptosis occurs through a combination of mechanisms which include pathways that are both dependent and independent of alterations in gene expression. In response to genotoxic insult, these pathways probably act together, thereby amplifying the apoptotic signal. However, the picture is complicated because the p53 activity is determined by stress type and individual cellular characteristics. The numerous p53 responsive genes that have been identified also provide further means of controlling the actions of p53. The recent discoveries of proteins that interact with p53 and specifically regulate the ability of p53 to trigger apoptosis have provided further mechanistic insights into the role of p53 in inducing cell death. Understanding the molecular basis of the proapoptotic action of p53 can assist in our quest to reintroduce or reactivate p53 in human tumours.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/sj.onc.1207516

Type

Journal article

Journal

Oncogene

Publication Date

12/04/2004

Volume

23

Pages

2809 - 2818

Keywords

Animals, Apoptosis, Genes, p53, Humans, Mutation, Neoplasms, Organ Specificity, Transcription, Genetic, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53