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The p53 Gene and Cancer

By HHMI BioInteractive

This tutorial describes the structure and function of the p53 protein, how its activity is regulated in cells, and how mutant versions of p53 can lead to cancer.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group HHMI BioInteractive

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Version 1.0 - published on 01 Jul 2019 doi:10.25334/2884-Q064 - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International according to these terms



The Click & Learn presents different types of genes that, when mutated, contribute to cancer, including oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, and DNA repair genes. It then explores one tumor suppressor gene, p53, and its role in cancer in more depth. Students learn about the structure of the protein encoded by p53 and how it normally functions to regulate cell division.

The accompanying worksheets guide students’ exploration. The “Overview Worksheet” provides an introduction to p53 and its role in cancer. The “Advanced Worksheet” challenges students to explore these ideas in greater depth, including how p53 interacts with other molecules in the cell.


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