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Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters

Open Access

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

  • Marta Nekulova1,
  • Jitka Holcakova1,
  • Philip Coates2 and
  • Borivoj Vojtesek1Email author
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201116:9

Received: 9 November 2010

Accepted: 7 March 2011

Published: 20 March 2011


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.

Key words

p63TAp63ΔNp63p53 familyCancerStem cells