The article "Taking Aim at p53: Researchers are Targeting the Tumor Suppressor with Vectors, Viruses, and Small Molecules"1 I believe, has an unintentional inaccuracy. The article suggests that in Ras-induced cancers, p53 therapy, i.e., using p53-mediated apoptosis, to kill the cancerous cells is a viable strategy. However, there is a report in the journal Science2 that provides evidence that in Ras-transformed p53-/- mouse embryo fibroblasts, the cells undergo apoptosis when the transcription factor NF-KB is inactivated. This suggests that Ras transformation kills cells in a p53-independent manner and implies that in Ras-transformed cells, p53 therapy would be ineffective at initiating apoptosis. Although your article does not intentionally mislead the audience, nor does it directly address this issue, I believe some clarification is necessary.

Lee V. Madrid
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology
Rm. 210, Lineberger Cancer Center, CB#...

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