p53 in signaling checkpoint arrest or apoptosis

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1996 Feb;6(1):12-8. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(96)90004-0.


The cell cycle arrest and apoptotic functions of p53 both contribute to the role of this tumour suppressor protein in preventing replication of cells suffering DNA damage. Although the ability of p53 to function as a sequence-specific transcription factor appears to be directly and causally linked to the implementation of an arrest at the G1 stage of the cell cycle, the contribution of transcriptional activation to the apoptotic response is less clear. It seems likely that several p53 activities, both transcriptionally dependent and transcriptionally independent, can play a role in mediating cell death. The requirement for each of these functions appears to depend on the cell type, the cell environment and other genetic alterations already sustained by the cell in which p53 function is activated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • G1 Phase / physiology
  • Genes, p53 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic