Volume 109, Issue 1, Pages 39–43
Hey-Joo Kang, M.D., Zev Rosenwaks, M.D.
Tumor protein 53 (TP53) and its related family of p63 and p73 are tumor suppressor genes that regulate cellular activity to enhance longevity. p53 binds to specific response elements in DNA, modulating the transcription of genes that govern the major defenses against tumor growth. Additional members of the p53 family are involved with male and female germ cell survival. Although the majority of studies have focused on p53 as a tumor suppressor gene, little is known about its function in normal cellular processes. Polymorphisms of TP53 codon 72 that alter activity levels have been studied with respect to implantation in both the murine and human models. TP53 codon 72 (arginine) exhibits higher rates of apoptosis and leukemia inhibitory factor expression, whereas the C allele (proline) reduces leukemia inhibitory factor expression. Here, we review the role of p53 and the family of p53 proteins, along with the potential effect of p53 polymorphisms on reproduction.