Surfing the p53 network
The p53 tumour-suppressor gene integrates numerous signals that control cell life and death. As when a highly connected node in the Internet breaks down, the disruption of p53 has severe consequences. Tumour-suppressor genes are needed to keep cells under control. Just as a car's brakes regulate its speed, properly functioning tumour-suppressor genes act as brakes to the cycle of cell growth, DNA replication and division into two new cells.