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Cancer Lett. 2003 Jul 18;197(1-2):111-7.

Biological and clinical role of p73 in neuroblastoma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Tumor Genetics, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro (IST), Largo Rosanna Benzi 10, 16132 Genova, Italy.


The p73 gene is a p53 homologue localized at 1p36.3, a chromosomal region frequently deleted in neuroblastoma. p73 was originally considered an oncosuppressor gene. However, it was soon realized that its mode of action did not resemble that of a classic anti-oncogene. The recent discovery of N-terminal truncated isoforms, with oncogenic properties, showed that p73 has a 'two in one' structure. Indeed, the full-length variants are strong inducers of apoptosis while the truncated isoforms inhibit the pro-apoptotic activity of p53 and of the full-length p73. This review summarizes some aspects of p73 biology with particular reference to its possible role in neuroblastoma.

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