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1. A protein that regulates normal cell growth and proliferation and prevents unrestrained division of cells whose DNA has been damaged, as from ultraviolet or ionizing radiation. The absence of functional p53, usually resulting from a genetic mutation, increases the risk of developing various cancers.
2. The tumor suppressor gene that codes for this protein. Also called TP53.
[p(rotein) 53, from its apparent molecular mass of 53 kilodaltons as extrapolated from its mobility during electrophoresis.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.