p53 is a transcription factor that also stimulates apoptotic signaling through death receptors and the mitochondria. Over half of all cancer express p53 mutations and wild-type p53 is often introduced into cancer cells for treatment. Mutated p53, however, interacts with the wild-type p53 rendering it ineffective at suppressing tumors.
A novel form of p53 that contains a coiled-coil suppresses tumor activity without interacting with mutant p53. The coiled-coil causes the new p53 to interact only with itself, preventing dimerization. The p53 coiled-coil can be introduced into tumor cells without causing dominate-negative effect. It triggers a rapid apoptotic response and maintains full tumor suppression properties.