Definitions for p53
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p53, is a tumor suppressor protein that in humans is encoded by the TP53 gene. p53 is crucial in multicellular organisms, where it regulates the cell cycle and, thus, functions as a tumor suppressor that is involved in preventing cancer. As such, p53 has been described as "the guardian of the genome" because of its role in conserving stability by preventing genome mutation. The name p53 is in reference to its apparent molecular mass: It runs as a 53-kilodalton protein on SDS-PAGE. But, based on calculations from its amino acid residues, p53's mass is actually only 43.7 kDa. This difference is due to the high number of proline residues in the protein, which slows its migration on SDS-PAGE, thus making it appear heavier than it actually is. This effect is observed with p53 from a variety of species, including humans, rodents, frogs, and fish.
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