The yeast p53 functional assay: A new tool for molecular epidemiology. Hopes and facts

Gilberto Fronza, Alberto Inga, Paola Monti, Gina Scott, Paola Campomenosi, Paola Menichini, Laura Ottaggio, Silvia Viaggi, Philip A. Burns, Barry Gold, Angelo Abbondandolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The assumption of molecular epidemiology that carcinogens leave fingerprints has suggested that analysis of the frequency, type, and site of mutations in genes frequently altered in carcinogenesis may provide clues to the identification of the factors contributing to carcinogenesis. In this mini-review, we revise the development, and validation of the yeast-based p53 functional assay as a new tool for molecular epidemiology. We show that this assay has some very interesting virtues but also has some drawbacks. The yeast functional assay can be used to determine highly specific mutation fingerprints in the human p53 cDNA sequence. Discrimination is possible when comparing mutation spectra induced by sufficiently different mutagens. However, we also reported that the same carcinogen may induce distinguishable mutation spectra due to known influencing factors. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


  • Mutation spectra
  • p53
  • Yeast functional assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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