The p53 family: same response, different signals?

Mol Med Today. 1999 Sep;5(9):387-92. doi: 10.1016/s1357-4310(99)01545-2.


TP53, the gene that encodes p53, is a well-defined tumor suppressor gene that is frequently mutated in human cancers. Recently, two proteins homologous to p53, termed p73 and p63, were identified. Current data indicate that both p73 and p63, like p53, can induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis, suggesting that they might also be tumor suppressors. However, the physiological signals that can regulate p53, for example, DNA damage, have no effect on p73, as tested in several cell lines. Furthermore, the signaling pathways by which p73 (and possibly p63) induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis appear to be similar to those of p53, but also have important differences. Thus, the p53 family proteins are closely related but might have distinct physiological functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Multigene Family
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • CKAP4 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • TP63 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • p73 protein, human