p63 and p73 transactivate differentiation gene promoters in human keratinocytes

Vincenzo De Laurenzi, Antonello Rossi, Alessandro Terrinoni, Daniela Barcaroli, Massimo Levrero, Antonio Costanzo, Richard A. Knight, Piero Guerrieri, Gerry Melino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


p53 and its two homologues, p73 and p63, share considerable structural similarities, an ability to interact between themselves and to transactivate the same promoters, including for example p21. Furthermore, p73 can induce cell death via its interaction with c-Abl. In contrast, p63 has been demonstrated to be essential for limb and skin formation. We evaluated the expression of p63 and p73 in differentiating human keratinocytes in vitro. Skin biopsy and primary cultures of normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) express both p73 and p63. NHEK induced to differentiate in vitro by high calcium exposure show induction of p73 δ and downregulation of all isoforms of p63. This latter gene is predominantly expressed in its transcriptionally inactive form, ΔNp63. We further evaluated the effect of either p73s or p63 transfected in either NHEK or transformed human keratinocytes (HaCat cells). p73 γ, δ, and p63 were able to transactivate the promoters of loricrin and involucrin in both NHEK and HaCat cells. These results suggest the involvement of both p73 and p63 genes in keratinocyte terminal differentiation. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-346
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 2000


  • Apoptosis
  • Differentiation
  • Keratinocytes
  • p53
  • p63
  • p73
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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