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2005 | 52 | 2 | 321-328
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Prospects for p53-based cancer therapy.

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The p53 tumor suppressor plays the role of a cellular hub which gathers stress signals such as damage to DNA or hypoxia and translates them into a complex response. p53 exerts its action mainly as a potent transcription factor. The two major outcomes of p53 activity are highlighted: cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. During malignant transformation p53 or p53-pathway related molecules are disabled extremely often. Mutations in p53 gene are present in every second human tumor. A mutant form of p53 may not only negate the wild type p53 function but may play additional role in tumor progression. Therefore p53 represents a relatively unique and specific target for anticancer drug design. Current approaches include several different molecules able to restore p53 wild-type conformation and activity. Such small molecule drugs hold great promise in treating human tumors with dysfunction of p53 pathway in the near future.
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