Structure, function and regulation of p63 and p73

Cell Death Differ. 1999 Dec;6(12):1146-53. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4400624.


The p53 tumor suppressor gene is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancers.1 p53 is a sequence-specific transcription factor and plays a critical role in activating the expression of genes involved in cell cycle arrest or apoptosis under conditions of genotoxic stress.2,3 For over two decades, p53 was thought to be the only gene of its kind in the vertebrate genomes. This strong conviction, which was widely accepted in the p53 field, has now been proven to be incorrect. Two genes, referred to as p63 and p73, have been found to encode proteins that share a significant amino-acid identity in the transactivation domain, the DNA binding domain, and the oligomerization domain with p53. In the short period since their cloning, a number of investigators have reported on the structure, the function and the regulation of p63 and p73. This review summarizes the current information on the p63 and the p73 genes, with a focus on the differences between the three members in this newly defined p53-gene family.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Multigene Family
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation*
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • CKAP4 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • TP73 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins