On the shoulders of giants: p63, p73 and the rise of p53

Trends Genet. 2002 Feb;18(2):90-5. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(02)02595-7.


The discoveries of the p53 homologs, p63 and p73, have both fueled new insights and exposed enigmas in our understanding of the iconic p53 tumor suppressor. Although the pivotal role of p53 in cancer pathways remains unchallenged, because p63 and p73 are now implicated in stem cell identity, neurogenesis, natural immunity and homeostatic control. Despite their seemingly separate tasks, there are hints that the p53 family members both collaborate and interfere with one another. The question remains, therefore, as to whether these genes evolved to function independently or whether their familial ties still bind them in pathways of cell proliferation, death and tumorigenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • CKAP4 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • TP63 protein, human
  • TP73 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins