Regulatory mechanisms of tumor suppressor P16(INK4A) and their relevance to cancer

Biochemistry. 2011 Jun 28;50(25):5566-82. doi: 10.1021/bi200642e. Epub 2011 Jun 6.


P16(INK4A) (also known as P16 and MTS1), a protein consisting exclusively of four ankyrin repeats, is recognized as a tumor suppressor mainly because of the prevalence of genetic inactivation of the p16(INK4A) (or CDKN2A) gene in virtually all types of human cancers. However, it has also been shown that an elevated level of expression (upregulation) of P16 is involved in cellular senescence, aging, and cancer progression, indicating that the regulation of P16 is critical for its function. Here, we discuss the regulatory mechanisms of P16 function at the DNA level, the transcription level, and the posttranscriptional level, as well as their implications for the structure-function relationship of P16 and for human cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / chemistry*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / physiology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genetic Loci / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16