p53 controls ageing

The p53 protein works to suppress cancer cells by the induction of senescence, apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, but its role in the longevity of organisms remains unknown. In 3 January Nature, Stuart Tyner and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA, show that p53 has a role in controlling ageing in mice.Tyner et al. generated mice with a mutation that confers phenotypes consistent with activated p53. They found that mutated mice are highly resistant to tumors but display early

Tudor Toma(t.toma@ic.ac.uk)
Jan 6, 2002

The p53 protein works to suppress cancer cells by the induction of senescence, apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, but its role in the longevity of organisms remains unknown. In 3 January Nature, Stuart Tyner and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA, show that p53 has a role in controlling ageing in mice.

Tyner et al. generated mice with a mutation that confers phenotypes consistent with activated p53. They found that mutated mice are highly resistant to tumors but display early onset of phenotypes associated with ageing. In addition, a second line of transgenic mice containing multiple copies of a temperature-sensitive mutant p53 allele also displayed signs of early ageing (Nature 2002, 415:45-53).

In an accompanying News and Views article, Gerardo Ferbeyre and Scott Lowe suggested that the results "raise the disturbing possibility that the DNA-damaging drugs used to treat cancer in young...

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