Cytoplasmic functions of the tumour suppressor p53

Nature. 2009 Apr 30;458(7242):1127-30. doi: 10.1038/nature07986.


The principal tumour-suppressor protein, p53, accumulates in cells in response to DNA damage, oncogene activation and other stresses. It acts as a nuclear transcription factor that transactivates genes involved in apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and numerous other processes. An emerging area of research unravels additional activities of p53 in the cytoplasm, where it triggers apoptosis and inhibits autophagy. These previously unknown functions contribute to the mission of p53 as a tumour suppressor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53