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The p53 tumor suppressor is embedded in a large gene network controlling diverse cellular and organismal phenotypes. Multiple signaling pathways converge onto p53 activation, mostly by relieving the inhibitory effects of its repressors, MDM2 and MDM4. In turn, signals originating from increased p53 activity diverge into distinct effector pathways to deliver a specific cellular response to the activating stimuli. Much attention has been devoted to dissecting how the various input pathways trigger p53 activation and how the activity of the p53 protein itself can be modulated by a plethora of co-factors and post-translational modifications. In this review we will focus instead on the multiple configurations of the effector pathways. We will discuss how p53-generated signals are transmitted, amplified, resisted and eventually integrated by downstream gene circuits operating at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational levels. We will also discuss how context-dependent variations in these gene circuits define the cellular response to p53 activation and how they may impact the clinical efficacy of p53-based targeted therapies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kelly D Sullivan, Corrie L Gallant-Behm, Ryan E Henry, Jean-Luc Fraikin, Joaquín M Espinosa. The p53 circuit board. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2012 Apr;1825(2):229-44

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PMID: 22333261

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