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The role of P63 in cancer, stem cells and cancer stem cells


The transcription factor p63 has important functions in tumorigenesis, epidermal differentiation and stem cell self-renewal. The TP63 gene encodes multiple protein isoforms that have different or even antagonistic roles in these processes. The balance of p63 isoforms, together with the presence or absence of the other p53 family members, p73 and p53, has a striking biological impact. There is increasing evidence that interactions between p53-family members, whether cooperative or antagonistic, are involved in various cell processes. This review summarizes the current understanding of the role of p63 in tumorigenesis, metastasis, cell migration and senescence. In particular, recent data indicate important roles in adult stem cell and cancer stem cell regulation and in the response of cancer cells to therapy.



apoptotic protease activating factor 1


ataxia telangiectasia mutated


BCL-2 associated agonist of cell death


BCL2-associated X protein


breast cancer 2, early onset


Abelson murine leukemia oncogene


CDK and ABL1 enzyme substrate 1


caspase 10




claudin 1


cancer stem cells


DNA-binding domain


early growth response 3


Fraser syndrome 1


squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck


homeobox C4


inter-cellular adhesion molecule


immediate early response 3


Indian hedgehog


inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit alpha


jagged 1


murine double minute 2


mouse embryonic fibroblasts


meiotic recombination 11 homolog


mammalian target of rapamycin


Notch homolog 1, translocation-associated


oligomerization domain


proliferating cell nuclear antigen


p53 apoptosis effector related to PMP-22


RNA-binding protein


responsive elements


sterile alpha motif


sonic hedgehog


signal transducer and activator of transcription 3


small ubiquitin-related modifier 1


transactivation domain


TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand


tumor protein p63 regulated


wingless-type MMTV integration site family member


Yes-associated protein


zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1


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Nekulova, M., Holcakova, J., Coates, P. et al. The role of P63 in cancer, stem cells and cancer stem cells. Cell Mol Biol Lett 16, 296–327 (2011).

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Key words

  • p63
  • TAp63
  • ΔNp63
  • p53 family
  • Cancer
  • Stem cells