Coordinated interaction of multifunctional members of the p53 family determines many key processes in multicellular organisms
For the first time, p53 was found in complex with the viral large T-antigen in cells transformed with the small DNA virus
SV40. p53 cDNA was cloned in the early 1980s, and the full-length p53 gene was cloned soon afterwards. The p53 family is comprised
of three genes—TP53, TP63, and TP73—each of which is expressed as a set of structurally and functionally different isoforms. All of them intensely interact with
each other, forming a united functional network of proteins. The review discusses the evolution of the p53 family and the
significance of all its members in embryo development, reproduction, regeneration, regulation of aging and lifespan, and defense
against cancer. Special attention is paid to the role of poorly studied members of the p53 family, p63 and p73, in carcinogenesis
and tumor progression. Different isoforms of these proteins might exert opposite effects on these processes.