Men who inherit mutations in a gene called TP53 have a high risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, a multicenter research team in the United States has found. The findings were reported in the journal European Urology. Researchers from more than a dozen institutions across the United States collaborated on the study. Dr. Kara N. Maxwell, assistant professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is the paper’s lead author. The TP53 gene instructs cells to make tumor protein 53. This protein detects damaged DNA and determines if the DNA can be repaired. If it can, the protein initiates the DNA-repair process. If it cannot, the protein triggers a process that causes the cell to self-destruct, preventing it from replicating with damaged–and potentially cancer-causing–DNA.
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