Regulation of p53: The next generation


The p53 protein is one of the most important tumor suppressor proteins. The most prevailing property of this tumor suppressor protein is its activation in response to DNA damage which counteracts the propagation of genetic alterations to daughter cells under conditions that provoke mutagenesis. In response to DNA damage and some other kinds of cellular stress the turnover of p53 is reduced or completely switched-off, which leads to a strong increase in the amount of the p53 protein and subsequently to the implementation of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Although post-translational modifications of p53 certainly contribute to the activation of p53 under physiologic conditions, an increase in the amount of the protein e.g. after overexpression, is sufficient for p53's deadly activities. This makes this tumor suppressor protein an interesting target for cancer therapy. This article summarizes the most important principles for the regulation of p53, with a particular focus on recent findings. Furthermore, open questions and possible future directions shall be discussed.

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Regulation of p53: The next generation