The origins and evolution of the p53 family of genes.

Vladimir A. Belyi, Prashanth Ak, Elke Markert, Haijian Wang, Wenwei Hu, Anna Puzio-Kuter, Arnold J. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


A common ancestor to the three p53 family members of human genes p53, p63, and p73 is first detected in the evolution of modern-day sea anemones, in which both structurally and functionally it acts to protect the germ line from genomic instabilities in response to stresses. This p63/p73 common ancestor gene is found in almost all invertebrates and first duplicates to produce a p53 gene and a p63/p73 ancestor in cartilaginous fish. Bony fish contain all three genes, p53, p63, and p73, and the functions of these three transcription factors diversify in the higher vertebrates. Thus, this gene family has preserved its structural features and functional activities for over one billion years of evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)a001198
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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