p63 the guardian of human reproduction

Ivano Amelio, Francesca Grespi, Margherita Annicchiarico-Petruzzelli, Gerry Melino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


p63 is a transcriptional factor implicated in cancer and development. The presence in TP63 gene of alternative promoters allows expression of one isoform containing the N-terminal transactivation domain (TA isoform) and one N-terminal truncated isoform (ΔN isoform). Complete ablation of all p63 isoforms produced mice with fatal developmental abnormalities, including lack of epidermal barrier, limbs and other epidermal appendages. Specific TAp63-null mice, although they developed normally, failed to undergo in DNA damage-induced apoptosis during primordial follicle meiotic arrest, suggesting a p63 involvement in maternal reproduction. Recent findings have elucidated the role in DNA damage response of a novel Hominidae p63 isoform, GTAp63, specifically expressed in human spermatic precursors. Thus, these findings suggest a unique strategy of p63 gene, to evolve in order to preserve the species as a guardian of reproduction. Elucidation of the biological basis of p63 function in reproduction may provide novel approaches to the control of human fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4545-4551
Number of pages7
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2012



  • c-Abl
  • DNA damage
  • Oocytes
  • P53
  • p63
  • Reproduction
  • Spermatozoa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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