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Future Oncol. 2009 Feb;5(1):117-30. doi: 10.2217/14796694.5.1.117.

Watching the watcher: regulation of p53 by mitochondria.

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  • 1Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

Abstract

p53 has been referred to as the 'guardian of the genome' because of its role in protecting the cell from DNA damage. p53 performs its duties by regulating cell-cycle progression and DNA repair and, in cases of irreparable DNA damage, by executing programmed cell death. Mitochondria are an important target of transcription-dependent and -independent actions of p53 to carry out the apoptotic function. However, increasing evidence suggests that p53 activity is regulated by mitochondria. Cellular insults that alter mitochondrial function can have important consequences on p53 activity. In light of these new findings, the following review focuses on p53/mitochondria connections, in particular how reactive oxygen species generated at mitochondria regulate p53 activity. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which mitochondria regulate p53 may have an impact on our understanding of the development and progression of many diseases, especially cancer.

PMID:
19243304
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2710969
Free PMC Article
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