The ASPP family: deciding between life and death after DNA damage.
Slee EA., Lu X.
It is well established that p53 is a primary target for mutation in human cancer. p53 carries out the important task of ensuring that damaged DNA is not passed on during cell division, a duty that it performs by either inhibiting the cell cycle or inducing apoptosis. However, it is unclear how this decision is made. The recent identification of the ASPP family of proteins, which act to direct the cell away from cell cycle arrest and towards death following p53 upregulation, may explain how this dilemma is resolved. Furthermore, the observation that ASPP2 is in fact the full length form of the previously identified 53BP2/Bbp protein has clarified the ambiguous data that has been generated in relation to this molecule. The further characterisation of these proteins will enable us to gain further insights into the response of the cell to DNA damage and the progression of the cell towards malignancy.