The p53 family of transcription factors (p63 and p73) plays critical roles in keratinocyte (skin cell) function.
Using mouse skin as a model system, J. Scott Beeler, Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., and colleagues found that p73 is required for the timely healing of cutaneous wounds. In normal tissue, p73 expression increased in response to wounding, whereas p73 deficiency resulted in delayed wound healing, they reported in the journal PLOS ONE.
The delay in healing in p73-deficient mice was accompanied by increased levels of biomarkers of the DNA damage response in basal keratinocytes at the epidermal wound edge. They also found that p73 was expressed by epidermal and hair follicle stem cells, which are required for wound healing.
Further, they discovered that p73 isoforms expressed in the skin enhance p63-mediated expression of keratinocyte genes during cellular reprogramming from a mesenchymal to basal keratinocyte-like cell.
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