TP53, also called tumor protein 53 is a tumor suppressor gene that encodes p53 and acts as a control center for the cell to act on when stressed (Brachova). Human p53 is a nuclear phsophoprotein of molecular weight 53kDa located on chromosome 17 containing 11 exons and 10 introns (Ling). One of its primary roles is as a transcription factor and in its active state is a homotetramer comprised of four 393 amino acid residues (Joerger , The tumor suppressor p53). Another main role p53 plays is as a tumor suppressor and once activated, protects against cancer by “functioning as a sequence-specific transcription factor, through protein-protein interactions, activating cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and DNA damage repair (Brachova).”
As one of the most common tumor suppressor genes, TP53 is associated with almost every cancer, making it one of the most complex and most studied genes in the field of cancer research. In the latest version of the TP53 mutation database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, about “1300 different cancer-related single amino-acid changes in the core domain of the protein have been reported (Joerger).” Because of its involvement in a plethora of cancers, understanding the intricacy of this molecule has been tedious. Though there has been much advancement elucidating the many mutations involved in the molecule and the specific roles they play in each cancer, there is still much to be discovered. In recent years, there has been a lot drug discovery focusing on the structure of the p53 molecule’s role in tumors in two separate ways. These two ways are “to either target the p53 pathway, in particular negative regulators of p53, or to target the destabilized oncogenic p53 mutants (Joerger , The tumor suppressor p53).”
Ovarian cancer is a cancer of the ovaries and ranks as the fifth highest cause of cancer death in women with “96% of mutations associated with serous ovarian tumors are in the tumor suppressor gene TP53 (Brachova).” The ovaries are 2 small glands that are located on either side of the uterus and produce female sex hormones, and store and release eggs. Cancer in the ovaries spreads quickly to other parts of the body and “is the most lethal gynecological malignancy, with an alarmingly poor prognosis attributed to late detection and chemoresistance (Brachova).” The ovaries are composed of three different types of tissue: epithelia, germ, and stromal, with tumors being named for the kinds of cells the tumor started from and whether the tumor is benign or cancerous. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for ovarian cancer in the United States in 2014 are about 21,980 new cases and about 14,270 deaths. A woman’s risk of getting invasive ovarian cancer in her lifetime is about 1 in 72 and about half of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older (American Cancer Society).
Some signs of ovarian cancer are swelling or bloating of the stomach, having trouble eating, abdominal pain, or...