Protein p53 is one of the most studied proteins. This attention is primarily due to its key role in the cellular mechanisms associated with carcinogenesis. Protein p53 is a transcription factor involved in a wide variety of processes: cell cycle regulation and apoptosis, signaling inside the cell, DNA repair, coordination of metabolic processes, regulation of cell interactions, etc. This multifunctionality is apparently determined by the fact that p53 is a vivid example of how the same protein can be represented by numerous proteoforms bearing completely different functional loads. By alternative splicing, using different promoters and translation initiation sites, the TP53 gene gives rise to at least 12 isoforms, which can additionally undergo numerous (>200) post-translational modifications. Proteoforms generated due to numerous point mutations in the TP53 gene are adding more complexity to this picture. The proteoforms produced are involved in various processes, such as the regulation of p53 transcriptional activity in response to various factors. This review is devoted to the description of the currently known p53 proteoforms, as well as their possible functionality.
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