p53 and breast cancer, an update

    1. Guy Leclercq
    1. Laboratoire Jean-Claude Heuson de Cancérologie Mammaire, Institut Jules Bordet – Université Libre de Bruxelles, 127 boulevard de Waterloo, B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
    1. (Requests for offprints should be addressed to M Lacroix; Email: Marc.Lacroix{at}ulb.ac.be)


    p53 plays a key role in mediating cell response to various stresses, mainly by inducing or repressing a number of genes involved in cell cycle arrest, senescence, apoptosis, DNA repair, and angiogenesis. According to this important function, p53 activity is controlled in a very complex manner, including several auto-regulatory loops, through the intervention of dozens of modulator proteins (the ‘p53 interactome’). p53 mutations are observed in a significant minority of breast tumours. In the remaining cases, alterations of interactome components or target genes could contribute, to some extent, to reduce the ability of p53 to efficiently manage stress events. While the prognostic and predictive value of p53 is still debated, there is an increasing interest for p53-based therapies. The present paper aims to provide updated information on p53 regulation and function, with specific interest on its role in breast cancer.

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