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Exp Cell Res. 2012 Jul 1;318(11):1285-90. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.01.023. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

p63/p73 in the control of cell cycle and cell death.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita' G. d'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.


The p53 family apparently derives from a common ancient ancestor that dates back over a billion years, whose function was protecting the germ line from DNA damage. p63 and p73 would maintain this function through evolution while acquiring novel roles in controlling proliferation and differentiation of various tissues. p53 on the other hand would appear in early vertebrates to protect somatic cells from DNA damage with similar mechanism used by its siblings to protect germ line cells. For the predominant role played by p53 mutations in cancer this was the first family member to be identified and soon became one of the most studied genes. Its siblings were identified almost 20 years later and interestingly enough their ancestral function as guardians of the germ-line was one of the last to be identified. In this review we shortly summarize the current knowledge on the structure and function of p63 and p73.

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