The Niche

p53, guardian of the genome, also blocks reprogramming

This piece, by Elie Dolgin, builds on the more-general article now up on Nature News. The tumor suppressor gene p53 is usually thought of as a master regulator that helps stave off cancer, but it’s also a major barrier to cellular reprogramming. Blocking the p53 pathway vastly improves the efficiency of transforming differentiated cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and with fewer genes than the commonly used reprogramming recipes, new research shows. The findings, which should make it easier to derive patient-specific stem cells from any tissue, provide a bridge between tumour formation and cellular reprogramming that could force 

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