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Cell Cycle. 2007 Feb 1;6(3):312-7. Epub 2007 Feb 3.

To die or not to die: neurons and p63.

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Developmental Biology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


One of the fundamental questions in neurobiology is how mammalian neurons survive for an organism's lifetime in the face of normal ongoing "wear and tear" that, in the case of neurons in the peripheral nervous system, even includes physical damage. Elucidating the mechanisms that control neuronal survival is of importance not only for our understanding of normal development of neuronal circuitry, but also to devise treatments for pathological situations such as traumatic injury, or neurodegenerative conditions. In this review, we will cover the emerging evidence that p63 plays an essential role in regulating neuronal life and death decisions in the nervous system working in concert with its two other family members, p53 and p73.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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