Mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor are among the most frequently observed genetic alterations in human cancer and map to the 200-amino acid core domain of the protein. The core domain contains the sequence-specific DNA binding activity and the in vitro 53BP2 protein binding activity of p53. The crystal structure of the p53 core domain bound to the 53BP2 protein, which contains an SH3 (Src homology 3) domain and four ankyrin repeats, revealed that (i) the SH3 domain binds the L3 loop of p53 in a manner distinct from that of previously characterized SH3-polyproline peptide complexes, and (ii) an ankyrin repeat, which forms an L-shaped structure consisting of a beta hairpin and two alpha helices, binds the L2 loop of p53. The structure of the complex shows that the 53BP2 binding site on the p53 core domain consists of evolutionarily conserved regions that are frequently mutated in cancer and that it overlaps the site of DNA binding. The six most frequently observed p53 mutations disrupt 53BP2 binding in vitro. The structure provides evidence that the 53BP2-p53 complex forms in vivo and may have a critical role in the p53 pathway of tumor suppression.