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Cell Mol Life Sci. 1999 Jan;55(1):48-63.

The role of p53 in tumour suppression: lessons from mouse models.

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Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


The use of mouse models has greatly contributed to our understanding of the role of p53 in tumour suppression. Mice homozygous for a deletion in the p53 gene develop tumours at high frequency, providing essential evidence for the importance of p53 as a tumour suppressor. Additionally, crossing these knockout mice or transgenic expression p53 dominant negative alleles with other tumour-prone mouse strains has allowed the effect of p53 loss on tumour development to be examined further. In a variety of mouse models, absence of p53 facilitates tumorigenesis, thus providing a means to study how the lack of p53 enhances tumour development and to define genetic pathways of p53 action. Depending on the particular model system, loss of p53 either results in deregulated cell-cycle entry or aberrant apoptosis (programmed cell death), confirming results found in cell culture systems and providing insight into in vitro function of p53. Finally, as p53 null mice rapidly develop tumours, they are useful for evaluating agents for either chemopreventative or therapeutic activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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