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Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Dec;6(12):909-23.

Regulating the p53 pathway: in vitro hypotheses, in vivo veritas.

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Institut Curie, Centre de Recherche, UMR CNRS 7147, 26 rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Mutations in TP53, the gene that encodes the tumour suppressor p53, are found in 50% of human cancers, and increased levels of its negative regulators MDM2 and MDM4 (also known as MDMX) downregulate p53 function in many of the rest. Understanding p53 regulation remains a crucial goal to design broadly applicable anticancer strategies based on this pathway. This Review of in vitro studies, human tumour data and recent mouse models shows that p53 post-translational modifications have modulatory roles, and MDM2 and MDM4 have more profound roles for regulating p53. Importantly, MDM4 emerges as an independent target for drug development, as its inactivation is crucial for full p53 activation.

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