Use of a yeast assay to detect functional alterations in p53 in prostate cancer: Review and future directions

Ralph W deVere White, Arline D. Deitch, Paul H. Gumerlock, Xu Bao Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. While many studies have suggested that p53 mutations are common in human cancers, the functional activity of these mutant alleles has not yet been fully addressed. We believe that information about the functional status of individual p53 mutants will prove to be important for a better understanding of the role of p53 in tumor development and progression. Ultimately, this information could also influence treatment decisions for individual cancer patients. METHODS. A recently developed yeast functional assay can be used to assess the transactivational activity of p53 mutants. Furthermore, this assay is more sensitive than single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) for detection of p53 mutations. In this review, we summarize the mechanism of this new technique and describe its applications in cancer research, with an emphasis on prostate cancer. RESULTS. The use of the yeast functional assay provides a simple, sensitive, and reproducible method for detecting p53 mutations and for determining the transactivational activity and dominant-negative role of individual p53 mutants. CONCLUSIONS. This method may be adapted to analyze other transcriptional factors, including the human androgen receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • p53
  • Prostate cancer
  • Yeast functional assays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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