p63 – an Important Player in Epidermal and Tumour Development


Klin Onkol 2012; 25(Suppl 2): 11-15. DOI: 10.14735/amko20122S11.

p63 is a transcription factor which plays an important role in epidermal development, differentiation and tumourigenesis. p63 belongs to the p53 protein family and at least six isoforms were identified to date. p63 isoforms play contrary roles during the development and formation of the epidermis as well as in cancer. p63 participates in epithelial development, where it affects proliferation and differentiation of epidermal cells. Inherited mutations in the TP63 gene generate different developmental defects and p63 knockout in mice results in the absence of epidermis. Another important role of p63 is the control of cell-cell adhesion, where it regulates desmosomes. The loss of proliferation and cell-cell adhesion control are important for tumourigenesis and overexpression of p63 can enhance tumour growth and inhibit apoptosis. This review briefly summarises the roles of p63 in epithelial development, cellular proliferation, adhesion and migration and reveals its share in tumourigenesis and metastasis.


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