p53, cancer and the immune response

J Cell Sci. 2020 Mar 6;133(5):jcs237453. doi: 10.1242/jcs.237453.


The importance of cancer-cell-autonomous functions of the tumour suppressor p53 (encoded by TP53) has been established in many studies, but it is now clear that the p53 status of the cancer cell also has a profound impact on the immune response. Loss or mutation of p53 in cancers can affect the recruitment and activity of myeloid and T cells, allowing immune evasion and promoting cancer progression. p53 can also function in immune cells, resulting in various outcomes that can impede or support tumour development. Understanding the role of p53 in tumour and immune cells will help in the development of therapeutic approaches that can harness the differential p53 status of cancers compared with most normal tissue.

Keywords: Cancer; Immune response; p53.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53* / genetics


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53