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p53 in worms

Genome Biology20012:spotlight-20010914-01

  • Published:


  • Cell Death
  • Suppressor Gene
  • Tumour Suppressor Gene
  • Genetic Modifier
  • Mammalian Tumour

Early analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegansgenome failed to detect a gene resembling the important mammalian tumour suppressor gene p53. In the September 13 ScienceXpress, Brent Derry and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara report that there is a nematode p53 orthologue that is involved in apoptosis and the stress response (zdoi;10.1126/science.1065486). They named the gene cep-1 (C. elegans p53-like 1). Disrupting cep-1 expression (by mutation or RNAi experiments) had no affect on developmental cell death, but rendered germline cells resistant to apoptosis induced by ionizing radiation. Like the Drosophilahomologue, C. elegans p53 seems not to be involved in cell-cycle arrest. Overexpression of CEP-1 caused caspase (ced3)-independent cell death and lethality. These results offer a system to screen for genetic modifiers of the p53 pathway.


  1. Comparative genomics of the eukaryotesGoogle Scholar
  2. ScienceXpress , []
  3. University of California, Santa Barbara , []
  4. Drosophila p53 is a structural and functional homolog of the tumor suppressor p53.Google Scholar


© BioMed Central Ltd 2001