The p53 tumor antigen is found in increased amounts in a wide variety of transformed cells. The protein is also detectable in many actively proliferating, nontransformed cells, but it is undetectable or present at low levels in resting cells. This protein induces cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in response to sublethal or severe DNA damage, respectively, by differential transcription of target genes and through transcription-independent apoptotic functions. The p53 protein contains 393 amino acids. Human p53 tumour antigen is Locatedto band 17p13. p53 mutations are common in pancreatic cancer and are absent in chronic pancreatitis.
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