Tweaking p53 Without Accelerating Aging

The p53 protein, and the gene producing it, are tied up in the mechanisms linking and driving cancer and aging. p53 makes a very attractive target for cancer therapies, but altering it reduces life span - accelerates aging - in most cases. Here EurekAlert reports on a possible workaround: "Mdm2 is a key inhibitor of p53 and therefore an attractive target to modulate p53 activity in cells. However, conflicting evidence exists regarding whether or not p53-mediated tumor suppression comes at the cost of accelerated aging. ... The possibility that inhibitors of Mdm2 could delay cancer in such people without causing detrimental side effects is bolstered by our demonstration that mice expressing 30-80% the normal level of Mdm2 develop fewer tumors than wild type mice, yet age normally."