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Trends Mol Med. 2007 May;13(5):192-9. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Classic and novel roles of p53: prospects for anticancer therapy.

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Vascular Biology Unit, Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia (IBV-CSIC), Spanish Council for Scientific Research, 46010 Valencia, Spain.


The tumor suppressor p53 is a transcription factor that is frequently inactivated in human tumors. Therefore, restoring its function has been considered an attractive approach to restrain cancer. Typically, p53-dependent growth arrest, senescence and apoptosis of tumor cells have been attributed to transcriptional activity of nuclear p53. Notably, wild-type p53 gain-of-function enhances cancer resistance in the mouse, but it also accelerates aging in some models, possibly due to altered p53 activity. Therefore, the emerging evidence of mitochondrial transcription-independent activities of p53 has raised high expectations. Here, we review new developments in transcription-dependent and transcription-independent p53 functions, recent advances in targeting p53 for cancer treatment and the pitfalls of moving from the laboratory research to the clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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