Author(s): Chumakov PM
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Abstract The p53 tumor suppressor plays a pivotal role in multicellular organism by enforcing benefits of the organism over those of an individual cell. The task of p53 is to control the integrity and correctness of all processes in each individual cell and in the organism as a whole. Information about the state of ongoing events in the cell is gathered through multiple signaling pathways that convey signals modifying activities of p53. Changes in the activities depend on the character of damages or deviations from optimum in processes, and the activity of p53 changes depending on the degree of the aberration, which results in either stimulation of repair processes and protective mechanisms, or the cessation of further cell divisions and the induction of programmed cell death. The strategy of p53 ensures genetic identity of cells and prevents the selection of abnormal cells. By accomplishing these strategic tasks, p53 may use a wide spectrum of activities, such as its ability to function as a transcription factor, by inducing or repressing different genes, or as an enzyme, by acting as an exonuclease during DNA reparation, or as an adaptor or a regulatory protein, intervening into functions of numerous signaling pathways. Loss of function of the p53 gene occurs in virtually every case of cancer, and deficiency in p53 is an unavoidable prerequisite to the development of malignancies. The functions of p53 play substantial roles in many other pathologies as well as in the aging process. This review is focused on strategies of the p53 gene, demonstrating individual mechanisms underlying its functions.
This article was published in Biochemistry (Mosc)
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology