The translation of mRNAs plays a critical role in the regulation of gene expression and therefore, in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Unrestricted initiation of translation causes malignant transformation and plays a key role in the maintenance and progression of cancers. Translation initiation is regulated by the ternary complex and the eukaryotic initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) complex. The p53 tumor suppressor protein is the most well studied mammalian transcription factor that mediates a variety of anti-proliferative processes. Post-transcriptional mechanisms of gene expression in general and those of translation in particular play a major role in shaping the protein composition of the cell. The p53 protein regulates transcription and controls eIF4F, the ternary complex and the synthesis of ribosomal components, including the down-regulation of rRNA genes. In summary, the induction of p53 regulates protein synthesis and translational control to inhibit cell growth.