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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jun 10;331(3):688-93.

p73-induced apoptosis: a question of compartments and cooperation.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Winsl√łwparken 25, 5000 Odense C, Denmark.


The transcriptionally active forms of p73 are capable of inducing apoptosis, and the isoforms termed TAp73 are important players when E2F and its oncogenic activators induce programmed cell death. However, the conditions under that TAp73 can kill a cell remain to be clarified. Recently, it has been found that p73 proteins are not merely floating in the nucleoplasm but rather can associate with specific compartments in the cell. Examples of intranuclear compartments associated with p73 proteins include the PML oncogenic domains and the nuclear matrix. In addition, p73 is found in the cytoplasm. It remains to be seen whether p73 might also associate with mitochondria, in analogy with p53. The relocalization of p73 is expected to be mediated by specific binding partners, mostly other proteins. Here, we discuss the possibility that the compartmentalization of p73, and the cooperation with the corresponding binding partners, might decide about its apoptosis-inducing activity.

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