Evolution of the p53 and p63/p73 Gene Families


The tumour suppressor protein p53 is one of the most studied eukaryote proteins. The finding of its paralogues – p63 and p73 – inspired investigations of the whole family. p73 and p63 appeared to have functions distinct from p53 and to be involved in complex regulation of the latter. Evolutionary studies revealed distant homologues of the family not only in vertebrates but also in protostomes and even in nonmetazoans. The evolutionary history of the p53 family and its relatives is complex, controversial and its intensive study goes on.

Key concepts:

  • The p53 and p63/p73 gene families evolve from the common p63‐like ancestor via specialization through gene duplications and domain gains and losses.

Keywords: p63; p73; p53; evolution; phylogeny


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Further Reading

Bénard J, Douc‐Rasy S and Ahomadegbe JC (2003) TP53 family members and human cancers. Human Mutation 21(3): 182–191.

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Yang A, Kaghad M, Caput D and McKeon F (2002) On the shoulders of giants: p63, p73 and the rise of p53. Trends in Genetics 18(2): 90–95.

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How to Cite close
Pintus, Sergey S(Sep 2009) Evolution of the p53 and p63/p73 Gene Families. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021749]