Prion-Like P53

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In its normal form, the protein p53 suppresses tumor formation, but when its gene is mutated — as it is in about half of all human cancers — the protein no longer functions as a tumor suppressor, and it can instead negatively affect wild-type p53. In a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry published in June, researchers in Brazil report that this dominance of mutated p53 happens in part because the protein aggregates into prion-like amyloid oligomers and fibrils.

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