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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

The Undervalued Avenue to Reinstate Tumor Suppressor Functionality of the p53 Protein Family for Improved Cancer Therapy-Drug Repurposing

Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 1, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland
Cancers 2020, 12(9), 2717; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092717
Received: 21 August 2020 / Revised: 13 September 2020 / Accepted: 17 September 2020 / Published: 22 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of p53 Family in Cancer)
Tackling the current dilemmas of cancer care, namely, financial and systemic burdens, is challenging. One way to address this challenge is to apply drug repurposing. Drug repurposing uses existing drugs for new medical indications like oncology. In drug repurposing, all clinical data is already in place, enabling fast translation into clinical applications. This review delineates the role of p53 and p73 as critical tumor suppressors and provides a comprehensive overview of drug repurposing avenues to reinstate the function of p53 proteins for cancer therapy.
p53 and p73 are critical tumor suppressors that are often inactivated in human cancers through various mechanisms. Owing to their high structural homology, the proteins have many joined functions and recognize the same set of genes involved in apoptosis and cell cycle regulation. p53 is known as the ‘guardian of the genome’ and together with p73 forms a barrier against cancer development and progression. The TP53 is mutated in more than 50% of all human cancers and the germline mutations in TP53 predispose to the early onset of multiple tumors in Li–Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), the inherited cancer predisposition. In cancers where TP53 gene is intact, p53 is degraded. Despite the ongoing efforts, the treatment of cancers remains challenging. This is due to late diagnoses, the toxicity of the current standard of care and marginal benefit of newly approved therapies. Presently, the endeavors focus on reactivating p53 exclusively, neglecting the potential of the restoration of p73 protein for cancer eradication. Taken that several small molecules reactivating p53 failed in clinical trials, there is a need to develop new treatments targeting p53 proteins in cancer. This review outlines the most advanced strategies to reactivate p53 and p73 and describes drug repurposing approaches for the efficient reinstatement of the p53 proteins for cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: p53; p73; MDM2; MDMX; tumor suppressor; drug repurposing; aspirin; protoporphyrin IX; verteporfin p53; p73; MDM2; MDMX; tumor suppressor; drug repurposing; aspirin; protoporphyrin IX; verteporfin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zawacka-Pankau, J.E. The Undervalued Avenue to Reinstate Tumor Suppressor Functionality of the p53 Protein Family for Improved Cancer Therapy-Drug Repurposing. Cancers 2020, 12, 2717. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092717

AMA Style

Zawacka-Pankau JE. The Undervalued Avenue to Reinstate Tumor Suppressor Functionality of the p53 Protein Family for Improved Cancer Therapy-Drug Repurposing. Cancers. 2020; 12(9):2717. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092717

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zawacka-Pankau, Joanna E. 2020. "The Undervalued Avenue to Reinstate Tumor Suppressor Functionality of the p53 Protein Family for Improved Cancer Therapy-Drug Repurposing" Cancers 12, no. 9: 2717. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092717

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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