p53: from guardian
to rogue agent

When the most powerful tumor suppressor mutates and turns against the body

The Guardian of the Genome

The body has a very powerful cancer-defense system, a group of genes called tumor suppressors. When tumor suppressors fail, cancer wins. The main most widely studied tumor suppressor is p53, also known as the Guardian of the Genome. When it works properly, p53 effectively prevents cancer by instructing the repairing mutant cells and keeping them in the system—or removing them completely. When it is mutated, it allows and accelerates the development of 50% of all cancers

From guardian to rogue agent

p53 is a tumor suppressor that strays from the path nature assigned it: determining the future of mutant cells either by instructing their repairing them and keeping them
in the system or removing them completely. But when it
mutates, it lets cancer through the gates.

Difficulties in treating targeting mutant p53

p53 can mutate in various ways, making a single solution for treating all these mutations extremely challenging.

p53 is not an enzyme and is therefore not amenable to specific inhibitors.

p53 is located in the cell and is therefore inaccessible to antibodies. This distinguishes it from classical targets of personalized anti-cancer therapy such as protein kinases and membrane receptors.

Every cell may contain wild type
and mutant p53 proteins
Tilting the balance towards
wild type is key to good health