Loss of the p16INK4a and p15INK4b genes, as well as neighboring 9p21 markers, in sporadic melanoma

Cancer Res. 1996 Nov 1;56(21):5023-32.


Although homozygous deletions of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2 gene p16INK4a on 9p21 have been reported frequently in metastatic melanoma cell lines, and intragenic mutations within the p16INK4a gene have been detected in familial melanoma kindreds, specific targeting of this gene in the development of sporadic melanoma in vivo remains controversial. Southern analyses were performed in this study to initially assess the frequency of hemi- or homozygous losses of p16INK4a, as well as its neighboring family member, p15INK4b, and other candidate regions within 9p21, in sporadic melanoma. Overall, 22 of 40 (55%) uncultured sporadic melanoma DNAs were determined to harbor deletions of 1-11 markers/genes located on 9p21. This included 10 tumors (25%; 10 of 40) with homozygous deletions limited to either the p16INK4a gene only (20%; 2 of 10), both the p16INK4a and p15INK4b genes (10%; 1 of 10), another novel 9p21 gene, FB19 (10%; 1 of 10), or all three of these genes plus surrounding markers (60%; 6 of 10). In subsequent single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequencing analyses, intragenic mutations in the p16INK4a gene were also revealed in two (10%; 2 of 21) melanoma DNAs that retained one copy of this locus. By comparison, the frequency of pl6INK4a and p15INK4b homozygous deletions, as well as p16INK4a mutations, in melanoma cell lines (analyzed in parallel) was 2-3-fold higher at 61 (23 of 38) and 24% (9 of 38), respectively. These findings indicate that (a) p16INK4a is inactivated in vivo in over one-fourth (27.5%; 11 of 40) of sporadic melanomas; (b) mutation/deletion of p16INK4a may confer a selective growth advantage in vitro; and (c) other 9p21 tumor suppressor genes could be targeted during the development of melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 9*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p15
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Mutation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*


  • CDKN2B protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p15
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Genetic Markers
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins