The Emerging Landscape of p53 Isoforms in Physiology, Cancer and Degenerative Diseases

Thineskrishna Anbarasan, Jean-Christophe Bourdon (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


p53, first described four decades ago, is now established as a master regulator of cellular stress response, the "guardian of the genome". p53 contributes to biological robustness by behaving in a cellular-context dependent manner, influenced by several factors (e.g., cell type, active signalling pathways, the type, extent and intensity of cellular damage, cell cycle stage, nutrient availability, immune function). The p53 isoforms regulate gene transcription and protein expression in response to the stimuli so that the cell response is precisely tuned to the cell signals and cell context. Twelve isoforms of p53 have been described in humans. In this review, we explore the interactions between p53 isoforms and other proteins contributing to their established cellular functions, which can be both tumour-suppressive and oncogenic in nature. Evidence of p53 isoform in human cancers is largely based on RT-qPCR expression studies, usually investigating a particular type of isoform. Beyond p53 isoform functions in cancer, it is implicated in neurodegeneration, embryological development, progeroid phenotype, inflammatory pathology, infections and tissue regeneration, which are described in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6257
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2019


  • p53
  • isoforms
  • cancer
  • p53 response


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