Dominant role of CDKN2B/p15INK4B of 9p21.3 tumor suppressor hub in inhibition of cell-cycle and glycolysis

Yong Xia, Yan Liu, Chao Yang, Diane M. Simeone, Tung Tien Sun, David J. DeGraff, Moon shong Tang, Yingkai Zhang, Xue Ru Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human chromosome 9p21.3 is susceptible to inactivation in cell immortalization and diseases, such as cancer, coronary artery disease and type-2 diabetes. Although this locus encodes three cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (p15INK4B, p14ARF and p16INK4A), our understanding of their functions and modes of action is limited to the latter two. Here, we show that in vitro p15INK4B is markedly stronger than p16INK4A in inhibiting pRb1 phosphorylation, E2F activity and cell-cycle progression. In mice, urothelial cells expressing oncogenic HRas and lacking p15INK4B, but not those expressing HRas and lacking p16INK4A, develop early-onset bladder tumors. The potency of CDKN2B/p15INK4B in tumor suppression relies on its strong binding via key N-terminal residues to and inhibition of CDK4/CDK6. p15INK4B also binds and inhibits enolase-1, a glycolytic enzyme upregulated in most cancer types. Our results highlight the dual inhibition of p15INK4B on cell proliferation, and unveil mechanisms whereby p15INK4B aberrations may underpin cancer and non-cancer conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2047
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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