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Genes Cancer. 2012 Mar;3(3-4):298-310. doi: 10.1177/1947601912455200.

Scission of the p53-MDM2 Loop by Ribosomal Proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Tulane Cancer Center, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA.


The oncoprotein MDM2 is both the transcriptional target and the predominant antagonist of the tumor suppressor p53. MDM2 inhibits the functions of p53 via a negative feedback loop that can be circumvented by several ribosomal proteins in response to nucleolar or ribosomal stress. Stress conditions in the nucleolus can be triggered by a variety of extracellular and intracellular insults that impair ribosomal biogenesis and function, such as chemicals, nutrient deprivation, DNA damaging agents, or genetic alterations. The past decade has witnessed a tremendous progress in understanding this previously underinvestigated ribosomal stress-MDM2-p53 pathway. Here, we review the recent progress in understanding this unique signaling pathway, discuss its biological and pathological significance, and share with readers our insight into the research in this field.


MDM2; MDMX; MDS; cancer; nucleolar stress; p53; ribosomal proteins; ribosomopathy

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