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Br J Cancer. 2007 Jan 29;96(2):196-200. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

ASPP: a new family of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University College London, 91 Riding House Street, London W1W 7BS, UK.


The apoptosis stimulating proteins of p53 (ASPP) family consists of three members, ASPP1, ASPP2 and iASPP. They bind to proteins that are key players in controlling apoptosis (p53, Bcl-2 and RelA/p65) and cell growth (APCL, PP1). So far, the best-known function of the ASPP family members is their ability to regulate the apoptotic function of p53 and its family members, p63 and p73. Biochemical and genetic evidence has shown that ASPP1 and ASPP2 activate, whereas iASPP inhibits, the apoptotic but not the cell-cycle arrest function of p53. The p53 tumour suppressor gene, one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer, is capable of suppressing tumour growth through its ability to induce apoptosis or cell-cycle arrest. Thus, the ASPP family of proteins helps to determine how cells choose to die and may therefore be a novel target for cancer therapy.

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