Tumour Suppressors - Patricia Muller

After a PhD in copper metabolism at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands), Patricia started her postdoctoral career in 2008 at the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow in Karen Vousden’s lab. She obtained a personal Rubicon fellowship from the NWO (a Dutch scientific organisation) to work on mutant p53 function in metastasis for three years. This project resulted in a publication in Cell in 2009 and allowed for an extension of her postdoctoral position on an AICR grant with Karen Vousden for two years. Patricia continued her career with a Sir Henry Dale fellowship from the Wellcome Trust/Royal Society in 2013 at the MRC Toxicology Unit on the function of mutant p53 in chemoresistance. She received an early career award from the Biochemical Society in 2015.


Tp53 is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. Mutations in this gene either lead to loss of protein expression or the formation of a mutant protein (mutant p53). Given that p53 is extremely important in tumour suppression, both loss of protein and a mutant protein lead to tumour formation, but there is a big difference between the two. Expression of a mutant p53 protein leads to a more aggressive tumour profile with more metastasis and chemoresistance. We are interested in how mutant p53 proteins acquire this ‘Gain of Function’ and whether we can develop novel therapeutic strategies to target mutant p53 expressing tumours.

Selected Publications


Aschauer L, Muller PA. (2016)
Novel targets and interaction partners of mutant p53 gain-of-function.
Biochemical Society Transactions 44(2):460-6. PubMed abstract

Muller PA*, K. Vousden.* (2014)
Mutant p53 in cancer : New functions and therapeutic opportunites.
Cancer Cell 25(3):304-17.  PubMed abstract *Corresponding author

Muller PA*, Trinidad AG, Caswell PT, Norman JC, Vousden KH. (2014)
Mutant p53 regulates Dicer through p63 dependent and independent mechanisms to promote an invasive phenotype.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 289(1):122-32. PubMed abstract *Corresponding author

Tan EH, Morton JP, Timpson P, Tucci P, Melino G, Flores ER, Sansom OJ, Vousden KH, Muller PA. (2014)
Functions of TAp63 and p53 in restraining the development of metastatic cancer.
Oncogene 33(25):3325-33. PubMed abstract

Trinidad AG, Muller PA, Cuellar J, Klejnot M, Valpuesta JM, Vousden KH. (2013)
Interaction with the CCT complex promotes protein folding and WT p53 activity.
Molecular Cell 50(6):805-17. PubMed abstract

Muller PA, Trinidad AG, Caswell P, Noll JE, Coffill CR, Lane DP, Neilsen PM, Norman JC, Vousden KH. (2013)
Mutant p53 enhances MET trafficking and signalling to drive cell scattering and invasion.
Oncogene 32(10):1252-65. PubMed abstract

Muller PA, Vousden KH. (2013)
p53 mutations in cancer.
Nature Cell Biology 15(1):2-8. PubMed abstract

Muller PA*, Coffill CR*,  Hogue KA, Cheok CF, Oh HK, Neo SP, Vousden KH, Lane DP, Blackstock WP, Gunaratne HJ. (2012)
Mutant p53 interactome reveals nardilysin as a p53R273H-specific binding  partner involved in invasion.
EMBO Reports 13(7):638-44. PubMed abstract *joint first author

Muller PA*, Vousden KH, Norman JC.* (2011)
p53 and its mutants in tumor cell migration and invasion.
Journal of Cell Biology 192(2):209-18. PubMed abstract *corresponding author

Muller PA, Caswell PT, Doyle B, Iwanicki MP, Tan EH, Karim S, Lukashchuk N, Gillespie DA, Ludwig RL, Gosselin P, Cromer A, Brugge JS, Sansom OJ, Norman JC, Vousden KH. (2009)
Mutant p53 drives invasion by promoting integrin recycling.
Cell 139(7):1327-41. PubMed abstract




Postdoctoral Fellow
Yannick von Grabowiecki

Graduate Student
Callum Hall

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