Mar 29, 2020

Context is everything: extrinsic signalling and gain-of-function p53 mutants

Cell Death Discovery
Ivano Amelio, Gerry Melino


The TP53 genomic locus is a target of mutational events in at least half of cancers. Despite several decades of study, a full consensus on the relevance of the acquisition of p53 gain-of-function missense mutants has not been reached. Depending on cancer type, type of mutations and other unidentified factors, the relevance for tumour development and progression of the oncogenic signalling directed by p53 mutants might significantly vary, leading to inconsistent observations that have fuelled a long and fierce debate in the field. Here, we discuss how interaction with the microenvironment and stressors might dictate the gain-of-function effects exerted by individual mutants. We report evidence from the most recent literature in support of the context dependency of p53 mutant biology. This perspective article aims to raise a discussion in the field on the relevance that context might have on p53 gain-of-function mutants, assessing whether this should generally be considered a cell non-autonomous process.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Protein p53
Missense Mutation
Disease Progression
Malignant Neoplasms
Gene Mutant
Gene Mutation
Genome, Bacterial
Mutant Proteins

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