The p53 pathway is a key factor that helps to conserve the stability of the genome by preventing mutations caused by cellular stress or DNA damage. p53 stabilizes the genome by interacting with a number of signal transduction pathways in the cell to regulate a wide variety of cellular processes including apoptosis, senescence, cell cycle arrest, differentiation, and DNA repair and replication. p53 is activated in response to a number of stress stimuli, including DNA damage, oxidative stress and activated oncogenes, which are transmitted by post-translational modifications. Activated p53 functions effectively as a transcription factor and can then induce transcription of several genes. Mutations in p53 are associated with genomic instability and an increased susceptibility to cancer, particularly cervical and colorectal cancers, and it is believed that more than half of all cancers may involve p53-inactivating mutations. Additionally, certain DNA viruses, such as papillomavirus, can also inactivate the protein.
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