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The tumour suppressor p53 is activated following stress and initiates a heterogeneous response in a cell-, tissue- and stress-dependent manner. This heterogeneity is reflected in the different physiological outcomes that follow p53 activation. One mechanism that may contribute to this variability is the promoter selectivity of p53 target genes. p53 is at the hub of numerous signalling pathways that are triggered in response to particular stresses, all of which can leave their mark on p53 by way of post-translational modifications and interactions with cofactors. The precise combination of these marks, much like the bars in a barcode, dictates the behaviour of p53 in any given situation.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol

Publication Date





702 - 712


Animals, Humans, Organ Specificity, Protein Transport, Stress, Physiological, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53