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Volume 6 Supplement 3

Metabolism, diet and disease

The in vivofunction of the p53 target gene TIGAR

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The p53 tumour suppressor inhibits tumour development via various mechanisms such as apoptosis, inhibition of proliferation or the activation of senescence. Recently, several studies have indicated a novel role of p53 in the regulation of energy metabolism. Previously we have discovered TIGAR, a p53 target gene that acts as a fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase. TIGAR therefore can redirect glucose from the glycolytic pathway to the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), which promotes NADPH production to generate reduced glutathione for protecting against ROS, and also ribose 5 phosphate production for nucleotide synthesis. In order to understand the function of TIGAR in vivo, we generated TIGAR deficient mice. We have determined a critical role of TIGAR in rapidly proliferating tissue, either for repair after damage or during tumor development.


This work was supported by Cancer Research UK; ECC is supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research fellowship.

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Correspondence to Eric C Cheung.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Cheung, E.C., Athineos, D., Ridgway, R. et al. The in vivofunction of the p53 target gene TIGAR. BMC Proc 6, P12 (2012).

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  • Public Health
  • Glucose
  • Phosphate
  • Nucleotide
  • Glutathione