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Oncogene. 1996 Apr 4;12(7):1379-85.

New insights into p53 function from structural studies.

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Division of Molecular and Structural Biology, Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto, Canada.


Recent structural analysis of p53 has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biochemical activities of this protein by presenting us with a detailed picture of the chemical groups in the protein that are involved in protein stability, conformation and functional interactions. The current structures form the basis for the design of potential therapeutics which could, for example, revert a DNA-binding mutant back to a DNA-binding competent conformation. The structure of the tet domain forms the basis for designing an active therapeutic p53 with an oligomerization domain which would not cross react with a DNA-binding mutant p53. However, as useful as these structures have been in providing insight into the structure/function relationship for p53, a complete understanding of this protein awaits more detailed information on the full-length protein. In this respect, one of the most useful roles for future structural studies will be to help identify the nature of the conformational transition between latent and active p53, and how it can be modulated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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