p63 protein is essential for the embryonic development of vibrissae and teeth

Alessandro Rufini, Miguel Weil, Frank McKeon, Alberto Barlattani, Gerry Melino, Eleonora Candi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Development of skin appendages strongly depends on epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. One of the genes involved in this process is p63, a member of the p53 family of transcription factors, essential for ectodermal development, as elucidated by the phenotype of p63 knock-out mice. Surprisingly, no information on p63 expression in tooth and hair is yet available. Here, we show p63 expression during teeth and vibrissae morphogenesis in mouse embryos and we also show a correlation with the expression patterns of the epithelial marker keratin 5 and the proliferation marker Ki67. Our results show that p63 colocalizes with both K5 and Ki67 in the epithelium of developing vibrissae, while in teeth p63 is expressed, together with K5, in the undifferentiated ectoderm (enamel organ), and in ameloblasts, a subpopulation of differentiated ectodermal cells. Moreover, p63 expression in tooth seems not to be fully colocalized with nuclear Ki67 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-741
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2006


  • Hair
  • Keratin
  • Skin appendage
  • Tooth
  • p63


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