The Role of p53 in Metabolic Regulation

Genes Cancer. 2011 Apr;2(4):385-91. doi: 10.1177/1947601911409738.


The metabolic changes that occur in a cancer cell have been studied for a few decades, but our appreciation of the complexity and importance of those changes is now being realized. The metabolic switch from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis provides intermediates for cell growth and division and is regulated by both oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. The p53 tumor suppressor gene has long been shown to play key roles in responding to DNA damage, hypoxia, and oncogenic activation. However, now p53 has added the ability to mediate metabolic changes in cells through the regulation of energy metabolism and oxidative stress to its repertoire of activities. It is therefore the focus of this review to discuss the metabolic pathways regulated by p53 and their cooperation in controlling cancer cell metabolism.

Keywords: aerobic glycolysis; oxidative phosphorylation; oxidative stress; p53.