Tumor suppressors are genes that protect cells from cancerous transformations. But, occasionally, these genes mutate and a loss in function leads to cancer. This is in contrast to oncogenes, which cause cancer through a mutation resulting in a gain of function. Tumor suppressor genes are often grouped into three categories: Caretakers, gatekeepers, and landscapers. Gatekeepers are those genes which prevent abnormal cell proliferation, caretakers provide genomic stability (through assessing and correcting DNA damage/mismatches/chromosomal abnormalities), and landscapers control the microenvironment in which cells grow.
p53 is often referred to as the “master” tumor suppressor gene because it is involved in the broadest of cancers. It can act as caretaker or gatekeeper and plays a role in apoptosis, genomic stability, and angiogenesis inhibition. There have been hundreds of other tumor suppressors reported and there continues to be new targets discovered through the field of oncogenomics. Novus Biologicals has an extensive catalog of tumor suppressor antibodies to suit most researchers needs.