: a tumor suppressor gene that in an inactivated form tends to be associated with a high risk of certain cancers

Examples of p53 in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Studies on the closely related SARS-CoV have implicated viral proteins in the possible degradation of p53 and pRB, which are critical oncosuppressors. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2023 Another obvious example would be the p53 gene, which is very strongly associated with cancer suppression. Bill Gifford, Scientific American, 31 July 2023 In mammals, p53 plays a crucial role in preventing mutated cells from turning into tumors. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 8 Sep. 2022 This wasn’t the first time that researchers noticed the p53, now more commonly called TP53, gene. Anna Funk, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2021 The same is true for p53. Max G. Levy, Wired, 24 May 2021 These mice lack a particular protein or biological function, such as the ability to produce Carboxypeptidase E, a type of protein building block whose absence results in mice with obesity, or to produce the p53 protein, which leads to mice much more likely to develop any of several types of cancer. David H. Freedman, Discover Magazine, 7 Feb. 2020 By 1990, researchers had identified the gene in question: One called p53 that, among other roles in the body’s cells, helps suppress tumors. Anna Funk, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2021 This form of cancer is one where there doesn't seem to be a somatic cell mutation of p53 itself. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Oct. 2013 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'p53.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from p53, the protein made by the gene, from protein + 53, the gene's molecular weight

First Known Use

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of p53 was in 1990

Dictionary Entries Near p53

Cite this Entry

“P53.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/p53. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

: a tumor suppressor gene that in a defective form tends to be associated with a high risk of certain cancers (as of the colon, lung, and breast)

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