Scientists have identified a “super-mutant” variant of the tumor suppressor protein p53, which boosts the transcription factor’s ability to prevent pancreatic cancer development in mice models. “It’s not to say that mice with the mutated version of p53 would never get cancer, but this experiment suggests that this particular mutant is really potent in limiting tumor development,” notes Stanford University School of Medicine’s Laura Attardi, Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology and of genetics, who led the research.
The studies, published in Cancer Cell (“A p53 Super-Tumor Suppressor Reveals a Tumor Suppressive p53-Ptpn14-Yap Axis in Pancreatic Cancer”) also identified a p53-mediated pathway that is directly involved in tumor suppression. Dr. Attardi and colleagues suggest that their findings could lead to new anticancer approaches based either on mimicking the super-tumor suppressor p53 mutant, or inhibiting the existing cancer target Yap in p53-deficient tumor types. Read more . . .