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      p63 is a p53 homologue required for limb and epidermal morphogenesis

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      Nature

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          The p53 tumour suppressor is a transcription factor that regulates the progression of the cell through its cycle and cell death (apoptosis) in response to environmental stimuli such as DNA damage and hypoxia. Even though p53 modulates these critical cellular processes, mice that lack p53 are developmentally normal, suggesting that p53-related proteins might compensate for the functions of p53 during embryogenesis. Two p53 homologues, p63 and p73, are known and here we describe the function of p63 in vivo. Mice lacking p63 are born alive but have striking developmental defects. Their limbs are absent or truncated, defects that are caused by a failure of the apical ectodermal ridge to differentiate. The skin of p63-deficient mice does not progress past an early developmental stage: it lacks stratification and does not express differentiation markers. Structures dependent upon epidermal-mesenchymal interactions during embryonic development, such as hair follicles, teeth and mammary glands, are absent in p63-deficient mice. Thus, in contrast to p53, p63 is essential for several aspects of ectodermal differentiation during embryogenesis.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Mice deficient for p53 are developmentally normal but susceptible to spontaneous tumours.

          Mutations in the p53 tumour-suppressor gene are the most frequently observed genetic lesions in human cancers. To investigate the role of the p53 gene in mammalian development and tumorigenesis, a null mutation was introduced into the gene by homologous recombination in murine embryonic stem cells. Mice homozygous for the null allele appear normal but are prone to the spontaneous development of a variety of neoplasms by 6 months of age. These observations indicate that a normal p53 gene is dispensable for embryonic development, that its absence predisposes the animal to neoplastic disease, and that an oncogenic mutant form of p53 is not obligatory for the genesis of many types of tumours.
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            p63, a p53 homolog at 3q27-29, encodes multiple products with transactivating, death-inducing, and dominant-negative activities.

            We describe the cloning of p63, a gene at chromosome 3q27-29 that bears strong homology to the tumor suppressor p53 and to the related gene, p73. p63 was detected in a variety of human and mouse tissues, including proliferating basal cells of epithelial layers in the epidermis, cervix, urothelium, and prostate. Unlike p53, the p63 gene encodes multiple isotypes with remarkably divergent abilities to transactivate p53 reporter genes and induce apoptosis. Importantly, the predominant p63 isotypes in many epithelial tissues lack an acidic N terminus corresponding to the transactivation domain of p53. We demonstrate that these truncated p63 variants can act as dominant-negative agents toward transactivation by p53 and p63, and we suggest the possibility of physiological interactions among members of the p53 family.
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              p53 is required for radiation-induced apoptosis in mouse thymocytes.

              The p53 tumour suppressor gene is the most widely mutated gene in human tumorigenesis. p53 encodes a transcriptional activator whose targets may include genes that regulate genomic stability, the cellular response to DNA damage, and cell-cycle progression. Introduction of wild-type p53 into cell lines that have lost endogenous p53 function can cause growth arrest or induce a process of cell death known as apoptosis. During normal development, self-reactive thymocytes undergo negative selection by apoptosis, which can also be induced in immature thymocytes by other stimuli, including exposure to glucocorticoids and ionizing radiation. Although normal negative selection involves signalling through the T-cell receptor, the induction of apoptosis by other stimuli is poorly understood. We have investigated the requirement for p53 during apoptosis in mouse thymocytes. We report here that immature thymocytes lacking p53 die normally when exposed to compounds that may mimic T-cell receptor engagement and to glucocorticoids but are resistant to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation. These results demonstrate that p53 is required for radiation-induced cell death in the thymus but is not necessary for all forms of apoptosis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                April 1999
                April 1999
                : 398
                : 6729
                : 708-713
                Article
                10.1038/19531
                10227293
                © 1999

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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