The dynamics of p53 expression provide a mechanism to increase differentiation between cellular stresses and specificity in appropriate responses. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating p53 dynamics and the functions of the dynamics in the regulation of p53-dependent cell stress responses. We also compare dynamic encoding in the p53 system with that found in other important cell signaling systems, many of which can interact with the p53 network. Finally, we highlight some of the current challenges in understanding dynamic cell signaling within a larger cellular network context.

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