Introduction: For decades, p53 was researched as a single protein with alterations described as mutants. The discovery of 12 human p53 isoforms expressed from 9 transcripts changed this perception, eloquently explaining the numerous roles p53 plays, including apoptosis, senescence, and regeneration.
Area covered: Here, we summarise the p53 isoforms and their relevance to cancer to establish an understanding and theorise on potential applications of the isoforms in clinical practice.
Expert commentary: Pertaining to the different expression of isoforms in different tumors, it is concluded that the clinical use of isoforms as prognostic and predictive biomarkers will be different depending on the cell type, the tissue origin of the tumors, the position of the TP53 mutation and the driver-oncogene.
- p53 isoforms