p53, Cancer and Aging

Cancer and aspects of cell aging share many of the same biochemical mechanisms and components; the present structure and life cycle of cells is probably an evolutionary balance between protection from cancer and avoidance of other life-shortening conditions. From EurekAlert: "The p53 protein is known to be a critical player in our body's natural defense against cancer ... Although researchers over recent years have established a foothold in understanding how p53 protects against cancer, the mechanisms by which it might contribute to aging and lifespan are not well studied. In work reported this week, researchers studying p53 function in fruit flies show new evidence that despite the protective role of p53 as a guardian against tumor formation, normal levels of p53 activity - at least in some cell types - may indeed contribute to aging and decreased lifespan."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-11/cp-nct111805.php

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