Activation of the p53 tumor suppressor protein

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Mar 14;1602(1):47-59. doi: 10.1016/s0304-419x(02)00035-5.


The p53 tumor suppressor gene plays an important role in preventing cancer development, by arresting or killing potential tumor cells. Mutations within the p53 gene, leading to the loss of p53 activity, are found in about half of all human cancers, while many of the tumors that retain wild type p53 carry mutations in the pathways that allow full activation of p53. In either case, the result is a defect in the ability to induce a p53 response in cells undergoing oncogenic stress. Significant advances have been made recently in our understanding of the molecular pathways through which p53 activity is regulated, bringing with them fresh possibilities for the design of cancer therapies based on reactivation of the p53 response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Subcellular Fractions / physiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53