Part of the book: New Research Directions in DNA Repair
The tumor suppressor p53 protein controls cell cycle and plays a vital role in preserving DNA integrity. p53 is activated by varied stress signals and the distribution of p53 between the different subcellular compartments depends on the cellular stress milieu. DNA repair pathways protect cells from damage that can lead to DNA breaks. The multi-functional p53 protein promotes DNA repair both directly and indirectly through multiple mechanisms; it accomplishes multi-compartmental functions by either numerous p53-controlled proteins or by its inherent biochemical activities. Accumulating evidence supports the contribution of p53 in the maintenance of the genomic integrity and in various steps of the DNA damage response, through its translocation into nucleus and mitochondria. p53 may also be utilized by viral polymerases in cytoplasm to maintain genomic integrity of viruses, thus expanding the role of p53 as a ‘guardian of the genome’. We summarize recent findings highlighting roles of p53 in DNA repair.
Part of the book: p53