CANCER BIOLOGY: Edited by Pierre Hainaut and Paolo BoffettaViral strategies for circumventing p53: the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirusCardozo, Camila Martin; Hainaut, Pierre Author Information Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Inserm 1209 CNRS 5309 University Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble, France Correspondence to Pierre Hainaut, Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Inserm 1209 CNRS 5309 University Grenoble-Alpes, Allée des Alpes Site Santé, 38700 La Tronche, France. Tel: +33 6 20 38 05 47; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Oncology: March 2021 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 149-158 doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000713 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Virtually all viruses have evolved molecular instruments to circumvent cell mechanisms that may hamper their replication, dissemination, or persistence. Among these is p53, a key gatekeeper for cell division and survival that also regulates innate immune responses. This review summarizes the strategies used by different viruses and discusses the mechanisms deployed by SARS-CoV to target p53 activities. Recent findings We propose a typology for the strategies used by different viruses to address p53 functions: hit and run (e.g. IAV, ZIKV), hide and seek (e.g. HIV1), kidnap and exploit (e.g. EBV, HSV1), dominate and suppress (e.g. HR HPV). We discuss the mechanisms by which SARS nsp3 protein targets p53 for degradation and we speculate on the significance for Covid-19 pathogenesis and risk of cancer. Summary p53 may operate as an intracellular antiviral defense mechanism. To circumvent it, SARS viruses adopt a kidnap and exploit strategy also shared by several viruses with transforming potential. This raises the question of whether SARS infections may make cells permissive to oncogenic DNA damage. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.