Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A protein that regulates normal cell growth and proliferation and prevents unrestrained cell division after chromosomal damage, as from ultraviolet or ionizing radiation. The absence of functional p53, usually resulting from a genetic mutation, increases the risk of developing various cancers.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[p(rotein) 53, from its apparent molecular mass of 53 kilodaltons as extrapolated from its mobility during electrophoresis.]

Examples

Comments

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  • An extremely important tumor suppressor gene. Current thinking on cancer holds that it results from the accumulation of mutations affecting mechanisms which act to stimulate, or to inhibit, cell growth. Many cancer patients have suffered a mutation in this gene, whose protein product normally acts as an important braking mechanism to avoid unnatural proliferative growth.

    December 15, 2007