The P53 pathway: what questions remain to be explored?

Cell Death Differ. 2006 Jun;13(6):1027-36. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4401910.


The p53 pathway is composed of hundreds of genes and their products that respond to a wide variety of stress signals. These responses to stress include apoptosis, cellular senescence or cell cycle arrest. In addition the p53-regulated genes produce proteins that communicate these stress signals to adjacent cells, prevent and repair damaged DNA and create feedback loops that enhance or attenuate p53 activity and communicate with other signal transduction pathways. Many questions remain to be explored in our understanding of how this network of genes plays a role in protection from cancers, therapy and integrating the homeostatic mechanisms of stress management and fidelity in a cell and organism. The goal of this chapter is to elucidate some of those questions and suggest new directions for this area of research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / metabolism
  • Response Elements / genetics
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • DNA
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2