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Mdm proteins: critical regulators of embryogenesis and homoeostasis
Sydney M. Moyer, Connie A. Larsson, and Guillermina Lozano*
Department of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA *Correspondence to:Guillermina Lozano, Tel: +1-713-834-6386, E-mail: gglozano@mdanderson.org
J Mol Cell Biol, Volume 9, Issue 1, February 2017, Pages 16-25  https://doi.org/10.1093/jmcb/mjx004
Keyword: Mdm2, Mdm4, MdmX, development, embryogenesis, tissue-specific, p53

Mdm2 and Mdm4 are negative regulators of the tumour suppressor p53; hence, this relationship is the focus of many cancerrelated studies. A multitude of experiments across various developmental stages have been conducted to explore the tissuespecific roles of these proteins in the mouse. When Mdm2 or Mdm4 are deleted in the germline or specific tissues, they display different phenotypic defects, some of which lead to embryonic lethality. Mdm2 loss is often more deleterious than loss of its homologue Mdm4. All tissues experience activation of p53 target genes upon loss of Mdm2 or Mdm4; however, the degree to which the p53 pathway is perturbed is highly tissue-specific and does not correlate to the severity of the morphological phenotypes. Therefore, a need for further understanding of how these proteins regulate p53 activity is warranted, as therapeutic targeting of the p53 pathway is rapidly evolving and gaining attention in the field of cancer research. In this review, we discuss the tissue-specificity of Mdm proteins in regulating p53 and expose the need for investigation at the cell-specific level.