The expanding universe of p53 targets

Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Oct;9(10):724-37. doi: 10.1038/nrc2730.


The p53 tumour suppressor is modified through mutation or changes in expression in most cancers, leading to the altered regulation of hundreds of genes that are directly influenced by this sequence-specific transcription factor. Central to the p53 master regulatory network are the target response element (RE) sequences. The extent of p53 transactivation and transcriptional repression is influenced by many factors, including p53 levels, cofactors and the specific RE sequences, all of which contribute to the role that p53 has in the aetiology of cancer. This Review describes the identification and functionality of REs and highlights the inclusion of non-canonical REs that expand the universe of genes and regulation mechanisms in the p53 tumour suppressor network.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Response Elements / genetics
  • Response Elements / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53