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Journal Article

p73 and p63 are homotetramers capable of weak heterotypic interactions with each other but not with p53.


Davison,  T
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Davison, T., Vagner C, Kaghad M, Ayed A, Caput, D., & CH (1999). p73 and p63 are homotetramers capable of weak heterotypic interactions with each other but not with p53. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 274(26), 18709-18714. Retrieved from

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Mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene are the most frequent genetic alterations found in human cancers. Recent identification of two human homologues of p53 has raised the prospect of functional interactions between family members via a conserved oligomerization domain. Here we report in vitro and in vivo analysis of homo- and hetero-oligomerization of p53 and its homologues, p63 and p73. The oligomerization domains of p63 and p73 can independently fold into stable homotetramers, as previously observed for p53. However, the oligomerization domain of p53 does not associate with that of either p73 or p63, even when p53 is in 15-fold excess. On the other hand, the oligomerization domains of p63 and p73 are able to weakly associate with one another in vitro. In vivo co-transfection assays of the ability of p53 and its homologues to activate reporter genes showed that a DNA-binding mutant of p53 was not able to act in a dominant negative manner over wild-type p73 or p63 but that a p73 mutant could inhibit the activity of wild-type p63. These data suggest that mutant p53 in cancer cells will not interact with endogenous or exogenous p63 or p73 via their respective oligomerization domains. It also establishes that the multiple isoforms of p63 as well as those of p73 are capable of interacting via their common oligomerization domain.