UC Irvine biologists, chemists and computer scientists have identified an elusive pocket on the surface of the p53 protein that can be targeted by cancer-fighting drugs. The finding heralds a new treatment approach, as mutant forms of this protein are implicated in nearly 40 percent of diagnosed cases of cancer, which kills more than half a million Americans each year.

Funding: The research was funded in by the National Cancer Institute (grants R01CA112560 and T32CA009054), the National Institutes of Health (grants DP2-OD007237 and R01AI78000) and the National Science Foundation (grants LRAC CHE060073N, CHE-0840513 and IIS-0326037.