p53 : Good Cop / Bad Cop Minireview

  • Sharpless N
  • Depinho R
  • 56


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Activation of the p53 transcription factor in response to a variety of cellular stresses, includingDNAdamage and oncogene activation, initiates a program of gene expression that blocks the proliferative expansion of damaged cells. While the beneficial impact of the anti- cancer function of p53 is well established, several re- cent papers suggest that p53 activation may in some circumstances act in amannerdetrimental to the long- term homeostasis of the organism. Here, we discuss the significant participation of p53 in three non-mutu- ally exclusive theories of human aging involving DNA damage, telomere shortening, and oxidative stress. These “good cop/bad cop” functions of p53 appear to place it at the nexus of two opposing forces, cancer and aging. By extension, this relationship implies that therapies aimed to reduce cancerand postpone aging, and thereby increase longevity, will necessarily work either upstream or downstream, but not on the level of, p53.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Norman E Sharpless

  • Ronald a Depinho

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free