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One of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancers, tumour suppressor p53 (TP53), can induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. The apoptotic function of p53 is tightly linked to its tumour-suppression function and the efficacy of many cancer therapies depends on this. The identification of a new family of proteins, known as ASPPs (ankyrin-repeat-, SH3-domain- and proline-rich-region-containing proteins), has led to the discovery of a novel mechanism that selectively regulates the apoptotic function, but not the cell-cycle-arrest function, of p53, and gives an insight into how p53 responds to different stress signals. ASPPs might be new molecular targets for cancer therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Cancer

Publication Date





217 - 226


Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, Humans, Neoplasms, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53