p19ARF is induced in response to oncogene activation or during cellular senescence in mouse embryo fibroblasts, triggering p53-dependent and p53-independent cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. We have studied the involvement of human p14ARF as a regulator of p53 activity in normal human skin fibroblasts (NHFs) or WI38 lung embryonic fibroblasts expressing conditional Myc or E2F1 estrogen receptor fusion proteins. Both Myc and E2F1 activation rapidly induced p53 phosphorylation at Ser-15, p53 protein accumulation, and upregulation of the p53 target genes MDM2 and p21. Activation of E2F1 induced p14ARF mRNA and protein levels. In contrast, Myc activation did not induce any significant increase in p14ARF mRNA or protein levels in neither NHFs nor WI38 fibroblasts within 48 h. Myc and E2F1 induced p53 and cell cycle arrest even after silencing of p14ARF using short-interfering RNA. Treatment with the ATM/ATR kinase inhibitor caffeine prevented p53 accumulation upon activation of Myc or E2F1. Our results indicate that p53 phosphorylation, but not p14ARF, plays a major role for the induction of p53 in response to Myc and E2F1 activation in normal human fibroblasts.