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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Dec 28;1552(2):47-59.

p53, p63 and p73--solos, alliances and feuds among family members.

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Department of Pathology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.


p53 controls crucial stress responses that play a major role in preventing malignant transformation. Hence, inactivation of p53 is the single most common genetic defect in human cancer. With the recent discovery of two close structural homologs, p63 en p73, we are getting a broader view of a fascinating gene family that links developmental biology with tumor biology. While unique roles are apparent for each of these genes, intimate biochemical cross-talk among family members suggests a functional network that might influence many different aspects of individual gene action. The most interesting part of this family network derives from the fact that the p63 and p73 genes are based on the "two-genes-in-one" idea, encoding both agonist and antagonist in the same open reading frame. In this review, we attempt to present an overview of the current status of this fast moving field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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