Perp is a target of the p53 tumor suppressor involved in the DNA damage-induced apoptosis pathway. In addition, Perp is a target of the p53-related transcription factor p63 during skin development, where it participates in cell-cell adhesion mediated through desmosomes. Here we test the role of Perp in tumorigenesis in a two-step skin carcinogenesis model system. We find that mice lacking Perp in the skin are resistant to papilloma development, displaying fewer and smaller papillomas than wild-type mice. Proliferation levels, apoptotic indices and differentiation patterns are similar in the skin of treated Perp-deficient and wild-type mice. Instead, impaired adhesion through aberrant desmosome assembly may explain the diminished tumor development in the absence of Perp. These studies indicate that in certain contexts, Perp is required for efficient carcinogenesis and suggest a role for intact cell-cell adhesion in supporting tumor development in these settings.