Adaptive homeostasis and the p53 isoform network

Sunali Mehta, Hamish Campbell, Catherine J. Drummond, Kunyu Li, Kaisha Murray, Tania Slatter, Jean-Christophe Bourdon (Lead / Corresponding author), Antony W. Braithwaite (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


All living organisms have developed processes to sense and address environmental changes to maintain a stable internal state (homeostasis). When activated, the p53 tumour suppressor maintains cell and organ integrity and functions in response to homeostasis disruptors (stresses) such as infection, metabolic alterations and cellular damage. Thus, p53 plays a fundamental physiological role in maintaining organismal homeostasis. The TP53 gene encodes a network of proteins (p53 isoforms) with similar and distinct biochemical functions. The p53 network carries out multiple biological activities enabling cooperation between individual cells required for long-term survival of multicellular organisms (animals) in response to an ever-changing environment caused by mutation, infection, metabolic alteration or damage. In this review, we suggest that the p53 network has evolved as an adaptive response to pathogen infections and other environmental selection pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53085
Number of pages24
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number12
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2021


  • homeostasis
  • immune response
  • inflammation
  • p53 isoforms
  • pathogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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