Opposing roles for p16Ink4a and p19Arf in senescence and ageing caused by BubR1 insufficiency

Nat Cell Biol. 2008 Jul;10(7):825-36. doi: 10.1038/ncb1744. Epub 2008 May 30.


Expression of p16(Ink4a) and p19(Arf) increases with age in both rodent and human tissues. However, whether these tumour suppressors are effectors of ageing remains unclear, mainly because knockout mice lacking p16(Ink4a) or p19(Arf) die early of tumours. Here, we show that skeletal muscle and fat, two tissues that develop early ageing-associated phenotypes in response to BubR1 insufficiency, have high levels of p16(Ink4a) and p19(Arf). Inactivation of p16(Ink4a) in BubR1-insufficient mice attenuates both cellular senescence and premature ageing in these tissues. Conversely, p19(Arf) inactivation exacerbates senescence and ageing in BubR1 mutant mice. Thus, we identify BubR1 insufficiency as a trigger for activation of the Cdkn2a locus in certain mouse tissues, and demonstrate that p16(Ink4a) is an effector and p19(Arf) an attenuator of senescence and ageing in these tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / metabolism*
  • Eye / anatomy & histology
  • Eye / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Biomarkers
  • Bub1b protein, mouse
  • Cdkn2a protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • BUB1 protein, human
  • Bub1 spindle checkpoint protein
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases