As the key controller of DNA repair and cell cycle arrest, p53 has long been considered the guardian of the genome, resulting in efforts to develop p53-based cancer therapies. In an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers push the p53 envelope by showing that p53-derived peptides can specifically kill tumor cells through necrosis independent of p53, rather than via the expected p53-specific apoptotic pathway.

Researchers at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and colleagues fused amino acids 12-26 of p53