p63 steps into the limelight: crucial roles in the suppression of tumorigenesis and metastasis

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Feb;13(2):136-43. doi: 10.1038/nrc3446.


The role of p63 in cancer has been an area of intense debate and controversy. Is TP63 (which encodes p63) a tumour suppressor gene or an oncogene? This debate is partly due to the complexity of the gene. There are several p63 isoforms - some with tumour suppressive functions and others with oncogenic functions. In this Opinion article, we focus on the recent advances in understanding p63 biology and its roles in cancer. In this regard, we discuss the role of p63 in multiple stem cell compartments, ageing, in the response to DNA damage and in DNA repair. Finally, we highlight the importance of understanding the interactions between all three p53 family members and the potential impact of this knowledge on cancer therapy and regenerative medicine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Stem Cells
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics*


  • Protein Isoforms
  • TP63 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins