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Cell Cycle. 2012 Dec 15;11(24):4545-51. doi: 10.4161/cc.22819. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

p63 the guardian of human reproduction.

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Medical Research Council, Toxicology Unit, Leicester University, Leicester, UK.


p63 is a transcriptional factor implicated in cancer and development. The presence in TP63 gene of alternative promoters allows expression of one isoform containing the N-terminal transactivation domain (TA isoform) and one N-terminal truncated isoform (ΔN isoform). Complete ablation of all p63 isoforms produced mice with fatal developmental abnormalities, including lack of epidermal barrier, limbs and other epidermal appendages. Specific TAp63-null mice, although they developed normally, failed to undergo in DNA damage-induced apoptosis during primordial follicle meiotic arrest, suggesting a p63 involvement in maternal reproduction. Recent findings have elucidated the role in DNA damage response of a novel Hominidae p63 isoform, GTAp63, specifically expressed in human spermatic precursors. Thus, these findings suggest a unique strategy of p63 gene, to evolve in order to preserve the species as a guardian of reproduction. Elucidation of the biological basis of p63 function in reproduction may provide novel approaches to the control of human fertility.

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