The p53 family network is a unique cellular processor that integrates information from various pathways and determines cellular choices between proliferation, replication arrest/repair, differentiation, senescence, or apoptosis. The most studied role of the p53 family is the regulation of stress response and tumor suppression. By removing damaged cells from the proliferating pool, p53 family members preserve the integrity of the genome. In addition to this well recognized role, recent data implicate the p53 protein family in a broader role of controlling cell proliferation, differentiation and death. Members of the p53 protein family with opposing activity perform coordination of these processes. Imbalance of p53 protein family may contribute to a significant proportion of congenital developmental abnormalities in humans.