DOI: s12967-017-1297-2 PMID: 28927457
This review based on translational research predicts that the transcription factor p53 is the key effector of all anti-acne therapies. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and isotretinoin (13-cis retinoic acid) enhance p53 expression. Tetracyclines and macrolides via inhibiting p450 enzymes attenuate ATRA degradation, thereby increase p53. Benzoyl peroxide and hydrogen peroxide elicit oxidative stress, which upregulates p53. Azelaic acid leads to mitochondrial damage associated with increased release of reactive oxygen species inducing p53. p53 inhibits the expression of androgen receptor and IGF-1 receptor, and induces the expression of IGF binding protein 3. p53 induces FoxO1, FoxO3, p21 and sestrin 1, sestrin 2, and tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), the key inducer of isotretinoin-mediated sebocyte apoptosis explaining isotretinoin’s sebum-suppressive effect. Anti-androgens attenuate the expression of miRNA-125b, a key negative regulator of p53. It can thus be concluded that all anti-acne therapies have a common mode of action, i.e., upregulation of the guardian of the genome p53. Immortalized p53-inactivated sebocyte cultures are unfortunate models for studying acne pathogenesis and treatment.