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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1993 Feb;3(1):50-4.

Tumor-suppressor p53 and the cell cycle.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544.


The p53 tumor suppressor is a transcription factor that can activate the expression of some genes and repress the transcription of others. The protein appears to be dispensable for normal murine development, although mice lacking p53 develop tumors at an early age and their fibroblasts are genetically unstable in culture. Human and murine cells lacking wild-type p53 loose the ability to arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle in response to gamma-irradiation. Therefore, p53 may be a cell-cycle checkpoint protein that regulates the cycle under adverse conditions.

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