3 years ago

p53 and its mutants on the slippery road from stemness to carcinogenesis.

Molchadsky A, Rotter V
Normal development, tissue homeostasis and regeneration following injury rely on the proper functions of wide repertoire of stem cells (SCs) persisting during embryonic period and throughout the adult life. Therefore, SCs employ robust mechanisms to preserve their genomic integrity and avoid heritage of mutations to their daughter cells. Importantly, propagation of SCs with faulty DNA as well as dedifferentiation of genomically altered somatic cells may result in derivation of cancer SCs, which are considered to be the driving force of the tumorigenic process. Multiple experimental evidence suggest that p53, the central tumor suppressor gene, plays a critical regulatory role in determination of SCs destiny, thereby eliminating damaged SCs from the general SC population. Notably, mutant p53 proteins do not only lose the tumor suppressive function, but rather gain new oncogenic function that markedly promotes various aspects of carcinogenesis. In this review, we elaborate on the role of wild type and mutant p53 proteins in the various SCs types that appear under homeostatic conditions as well as in cancer. It is plausible that the growing understanding of the mechanisms underlying cancer SC phenotype and p53 malfunction will allow future optimization of cancer therapeutics in the context of precision medicine.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28334334

DOI: PubMed:28334334

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