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Dev Biol. 2006 Jan 1;289(1):253-61. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

TAp63alpha induces AP-2gamma as an early event in epidermal morphogenesis.

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  • 1Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Epidermal morphogenesis begins with the commitment of the single-layered surface ectoderm to initiate a stratification program, a process that requires the expression of the transcription factor TAp63alpha. To determine the molecular mechanism by which TAp63alpha induces genes associated with the commitment to stratification, such as K14, we have used a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches. Our initial gene expression profiling studies suggested that TAp63alpha could regulate one or more AP-2 genes, which have been implicated in development and maintenance of the epidermis. We now demonstrate that TAp63alpha directly induces AP-2gamma expression in embryonic epidermis, when commitment to stratification occurs. Furthermore, we show that, in the absence of AP-2gamma, TAp63alpha fails to induce K14 expression in vitro. Our data identify AP-2gamma as the first in vivo target gene of TAp63alpha, and provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms associated with early events in epidermal morphogenesis.

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