A protein that regulates normal cell growth and proliferation and prevents unrestrained cell division after chromosomal damage, as from ultraviolet or ionizing radiation. The absence of functional p53, usually resulting from a genetic mutation, increases the risk of developing various cancers.
The tumor suppressor gene that codes for this protein.
American Heritage Medicine
Origin of P53
p(rotein) 53 from its apparent molecular mass of 53 kilodaltons as extrapolated from its mobility during electrophoresis
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition