A novel gene PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) is a target for activation by the p53 tumor-suppressor gene. p53 functions as a transcriptional activator, and influences p53-inducible genes that play a role in the induction of apoptosis in response to p53. Antisense inhibition of PUMA expression reduced the apoptotic response to p53, and PUMA is likely to play a role in mediating p53-induced cell death through the cytochrome c/Apaf-1-dependent pathway.
In human and mouse, PUMA/bbc3 is one of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members including Bax and Noxa, which are also transcriptional targets of p53.
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