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www.BioInteractive.org/ / / / /
//////////Published/August/2014/
Revised/May/2016/
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Student Handout
Overview
Click and Learn
The p53 Gene and Cancer!
INTRO D UCTION/
This!handout!should!be!used!with!the!Click!and !Lea rn! “The!p53!Gene!and!Cancer”!
(http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/p53-gene-and-cancer).!It!is intended as a basic introduction to
the p53 gene and its role in cancer.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!
PROCEDURE/
Follow!the!instructions!as!you!proceed!through!the!Click!and!Learn!and!answer!the!questions!in!the!
spaces!below.!
!
1. On slide 1, “p53” is referred to as a molecule, a protein, and a gene. In your own words, and based
on your knowledge of molecular genetics, how are these terms related?
2. After reading the text on slide 2 and watching the video, describe the three types of cancer genes:
Normal function
What happens if they’re mutated?
Oncogenes
Tumor
Suppressor Genes
DNA Repair
Genes
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www.BioInteractive.org/ / / / /
//////////Published/August/2014/
Revised/May/2016/
//////////////////////////////////Page/2/of/2
Student Handout
Overview
Click and Learn
The p53 Gene and Cancer!
3. If a cell is stressed, p53 normally functions to shut down cell division. What activates p53 and what,
in turn, does p53 do (slide 3)?
4. To understand how the p53 protein works, you need to understand its structure. In your own
words, describe the function of each of p53’s domains (slide 4).
a. Transactivation domain:
b. DNA binding domain:
c. Complexing domain:
5. Slide 5 describes transcription factors. In your own words what is a transcription factor? Does p53
act as a transcription factor?
6. Why is the complexing domain of p53 so important to its function (slide 5)?
7. Describe how the p53 protein works once it has been activated (slide 7).
Summarize what you’ve learned:
On slide 1 you learned that the p53 gene is mutated in about half of all cancers. Explain how and why a
mutated p53 gene can lead to cancers.
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