The role of p53 in cell metabolism

Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2010 Sep;31(9):1208-12. doi: 10.1038/aps.2010.151. Epub 2010 Aug 23.


The p53 tumor suppressor gene has recently been shown to mediate metabolic changes in cells under physiological and pathological conditions. It has been revealed that p53 regulates energy metabolism, oxidative stress, and amino acid metabolism through balancing glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) as well as the autophagy pathway. p53 is activated by metabolic stress through AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways. p53 regulates OXPHOS through the transcriptional regulation of fructose-2,6-bisphosophatase, TP53-induced glycolysis regulator (TIGAR) and synthesis of cytochrome c oxidase (SCO2) subunit of complex IV of the electron transport chain. p53 also indirectly influences the energy metabolism through regulating glucose transporter (GLUT) expression, glutaminase 2 (GLS2) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). In addition, p53 regulates autophagy to provide cell metabolites for surviving through damage regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM1). Here we review the recent findings to elucidate the important role of p53 in cell metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53