Cancer-Stalling System Accelerates Aging

Reference: Cancer-Stalling System Accelerates Aging. Science. 4 Jan 2002. Vol 295.

This article describes research done with genetically engineered mice. The researchers were investigating the effects of the p53 protein and created a mutated gene for the p53 protein that seemed to amplify the effects of p53 in those mice.

Carefully read the article then answer these questions.

  1. How does p53 prevent cancer ?
  2. What happens if you don't have sufficient p53 protein ?
  3. How many of the mutant (altered p53) mice developed tumors while they were alive ? ___________
  4. How many of the normal (both copies of the p53 gene intact) mice developed tumors ? ___________
  5. How many weeks did it take for ½ of the mutant (super p53) mice to die ? ___________
  6. How many weeks did it take for ½ of the normal mice to die ? ___________
  7. How long did the oldest mutant (super p53) mice live ? ___________
  8. How long did the oldest normal mouse live ? ___________
  9. What happens when you knock out the p53 gene completely?
  10. Describe the trade-off the article discusses that seems to exist with the p53 protein.