The INK4a-ARF locus encodes two unrelated proteins that both function in tumor suppression. p16(INK4a) binds to and inhibits the activity of CDK4 and CDK6, and ARF arrests the cell cycle in a p53-dependent manner. We show here that ARF binds to MDM2 and promotes the rapid degradation of MDM2. This interaction is mediated by the exon 1β-encoded N-terminal domain of ARF and a C-terminal region of MDM2. ARF-promoted MDM2 degradation is associated with MDM2 modification and concurrent p53 stabilization and accumulation. The functional consequence of ARF-regulated p53 levels via MDM2 proteolysis is evidenced by the ability of ectopically expressed ARF to restore a p53- imposed G1 cell cycle arrest that is otherwise abrogated by MDM2. Thus, deletion of the ARF-INK4a locus simultaneously impairs both the INK4a-cyclin D/CDK4-RB and the ARF-MDM2-p53 pathways.
Zhang, Y., Xiong, Y., & Yarbrough, W. G. (1998). ARF promotes MDM2 degradation and stabilizes p53: ARF-INK4a locus deletion impairs both the Rb and p53 tumor suppression pathways. Cell, 92(6), 725–734. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81401-4