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Arch Hellen Med, 17(3), May-June 2000, 293-299


Protein P53 and its relationship with autoimmune rheumatic diseases

1Anesthesiology Unit,
1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Ioannina
2Hematology Laboratory-Unit of Molecular Biology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

P53 protein is a nuclear phosphoprotein which is encoded by the p53 tumor suppressor gene. It acts as transcriptional activator on the growth of cells and cell proliferation. The p53 gene is characterized by several researchers as the “molecule guardian of the genome”. It takes active part in the DNA repairing process and cell apoptosis with the altered DNA. Investigation of P53 protein and the p53 gene have been the focus of scientific study during the last few years, aiming to explore the relationship of P53 protein with carcinogenesis in humans and the p53 gene usefulness as a cancer marker for several types of cancer. This review presents the structure of the P53 protein, the way it functions and the activation process of the p53 gene by several factors such as ultraviolet irradiation and hypoxia and refers to the way in which its normal function is influenced by certain viruses and the checkpoints in the cell cycle. Data from recent international literature concerning the relationship of the p53 gene with certain autoimmune rheumatic diseases is reviewed including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogren’s syndrome, illustrating the possible association of p53 gene mutations with the pathogenesis of autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

Key words: Autoimmune rheumatic diseases, Protein P53.

© 2000, Archives of Hellenic Medicine