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Cell Death Differ. 2012 Feb;19(2):186-93. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2011.181. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Regulation of skin aging and heart development by TAp63.

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L'OREAL Recherche, Clichy, France.


Since the discovery of the TP63 gene in 1998, many studies have demonstrated that ΔNp63, a p63 isoform of the p53 gene family, is involved in multiple functions during skin development and in adult stem/progenitor cell regulation. In contrast, TAp63 studies have been mostly restricted to its apoptotic function and more recently as the guardian of oocyte integrity. TAp63 endogenous expression is barely detectable in embryos and adult (except in oocytes), presumably because of its rapid degradation and the lack of antibodies able to detect weak expression. Nevertheless, two recent independent studies have demonstrated novel functions for TAp63 that could have potential implications to human pathologies. The first discovery is related to the protective role of TAp63 on premature aging. TAp63 controls skin homeostasis by maintaining dermal and epidermal progenitor/stem cell pool and protecting them from senescence, DNA damage and genomic instability. The second study is related to the role of TAp63, expressed by the primitive endoderm, on heart development. This unexpected role for TAp63 has been discovered by manipulation of embryonic stem cells in vitro and confirmed by the severe cardiomyopathy observed in brdm2 p63-null embryonic hearts. Interestingly, in both cases, TAp63 acts in a cell-nonautonomous manner on adjacent cells. Here, we discuss these findings and their potential connection during development.

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