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Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and approximately one-third of those diagnosed succumb to the disease. The development of prostate cancer from small regions of hyperplasia to invasive tumors requires genetic and epigenetic alterations of critical cellular components to aid in the development of cells more adapted for aberrant growth. The p53 transcription factor is a critical element in the cell's ability to regulate the cell cycle and its response to DNA damage. Mutations within the DNA-binding domain of p53 are common and allow the formation of tetramers; however, these alterations prevent this protein complex from associating with target gene promoters. In the present study, we examined the effects of p53 functionality in prostate cancer cells that harbored wild-type (WT) or mutant forms of the protein in response to commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs. The androgen receptor positive 22Rv-1 and LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines carry WT p53 and were demonstrated to have a decrease in chemotherapeutic drug sensitivity when transfected with a dominant-negative (DN) p53. Conversely, expression of the WT p53 in the p53-mutated and more advanced DU145 prostate cancer cell line significantly increased its overall sensitivity to anti-neoplastic drugs. Furthermore, analysis of colony formation in soft agar revealed that the functional status of p53 in each cell line altered the cell's ability to proliferate in an anchorage-independent fashion. Prostate cancer colony growth was more prevalent when p53 transcriptional activity was decreased, whereas growth was more limited in the presence of functional p53. These results demonstrate that the functional status of the tumor suppressor p53 is important in the progression of prostate cancer and dictates the overall effectiveness a given drug would have on disease treatment.