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Taking Advantage of Basic Research: p63 Is a Reliable Myoepithelial and Stem Cell Marker

Reis-Filho, Jorge S.*; Schmitt, Fernando C.

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: September 2002 - Volume 9 - Issue 5 - p 280-289
Review Articles

p63 is a recently characterized p53-homolog that is consistently expressed by basal/somatic stem cells of stratified epithelia, myoepithelial cells of the breast and salivary glands, and proliferative compartment of gastric mucosa. p63 is located on the long arm of chromosome 3 (3q27) and it encodes six isoforms, three transactivating (TA) and three ΔN-isoforms. While the first three isoforms may act as tumor suppressor genes, the ΔN-isoforms may inhibit the p53/TA-p63-driven cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Recently, the putative applications of p63 in the identification of myoepithelial cells of the breast and basal cells of the prostate acini have been evaluated; however, no critical systematic analysis of its role in surgical pathology practice have hitherto been reported. We review the putative roles of p63 in surgical pathology practice and provide guidelines for future directions on p63 translational research.

At the *School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal; the †Medical Faculty, University of Porto, Portugal; and the *†Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology, University of Porto, Portugal.

Address correspondence to Dr. Jorge S. Reis-Filho, IPATIMUP, R. Roberto Frias, S/N 4200, Porto, Portugal.

The preliminary results published in this paper were partially supported by a PhD grant (JSRF) from the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), reference SFRH/BD/5386/2001.

On: p63, a p53 homologue, is a selective nuclear marker of myoepithelial cells of the human breast. Barbareschi M, Pecciarini L, Cangi MG, et al. Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:1054–1060.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.