Conflicting roles for p63 in skin development and carcinogenesis

Cell Cycle. 2007 Feb 1;6(3):269-73. doi: 10.4161/cc.6.3.3792. Epub 2007 Feb 3.


Epidermal morphogenesis is a complex process that culminates in the formation of a barrier that protects the organism from environmental substances and dehydration. p63, a transcription factor, is essential for normal epidermal morphogenesis as demonstrated by the failure of mice lacking p63 expression to develop an epidermis. However, since two independently generated p63(-/-) mouse models displayed different phenotypes, the role of p63 in epidermal morphogenesis has remained controversial. Furthermore, the tumor susceptibility phenotypes of both p63(-/-) mouse models were strikingly different. In this review, we discuss these conflicting findings and provide evidence for various roles of p63 in the epidermis under normal and pathological conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Skin / growth & development
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • TP63 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins