Role of post-translational modifications in regulation of tumor suppressor p53 function

Zonggang Che, Hui Sun, Wenjing Yao, Bei Lu, Qiqing Han


As an important tumor suppressor, the inactivation and mutation of p53 is discovered in more than 50% of cancers. Repression of tumor progression by p53 is mainly through its function as a common transcription factor for regulation of its target genes, involved in cell growth regulation, DNA damage repair and apoptosis process. There are multiple types of post-transcriptional modifications (PTMs) on p53 protein, including phosphorylation, acetylation, mono- and di-methylation, ubiquitylation, sumoylation and so on. These modifications usually do not function alone; they always interplay with other PTMs and collectively regulate p53 function mainly through regulation of p53 stability and transactivity. This paper reviews the function and mechanism of major posttranslational modifications of p53 and the interaction between these posttranslational modifications.