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Biol Cell. 2006 Mar;98(3):141-52.

Control of cell migration: a tumour suppressor function for p53?

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Centre de Recherche en Biochimie Macromoléculaire, CNRS FRE 2593, IFR 24, 1919 route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France.


Much remains to be learned about how cancer cells acquire the property of migration, a prerequisite for invasiveness and metastasis. Loss of p53 functions is assumed to be a crucial step in the development of many types of cancers, leading to dysregulation of cell cycle checkpoint controls and apoptosis. However, emerging evidence shows that the contribution of the tumour suppressor p53 to the control of tumorigenesis is not restricted to its well-known anti-proliferative activities, but is extended to other stages of cancer development, i.e. the modulation of cell migration. This interesting alternative function has been proposed in light of the effect of p53 on specific features of migrating cells, including cell spreading, establishment of cell polarization and the production of protrusions. The effects of p53 on cell motility are largely mediated through the regulation of Rho signalling, thereby controlling actin cytoskeletal organization. These recent studies connect the regulation of proliferation to the control of cell migration and define a new concept of p53 function as a tumour suppressor gene, suggesting that p53 might be involved in tumour invasion and metastasis. This review focuses on emerging data concerning the properties of p53 that contribute to its atypical role in the regulation of cell migration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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