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Oncogene. 2011 Apr 21;30(16):1956-62. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.568. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Long non-coding RNA ANRIL is required for the PRC2 recruitment to and silencing of p15(INK4B) tumor suppressor gene.

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Department of Biochemistry 1, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Shizuoka, Japan.


A 42 kb region on human chromosome 9p21 encodes for three distinct tumor suppressors, p16(INK4A), p14(ARF) and p15(INK4B), and is altered in an estimated 30-40% of human tumors. The expression of the INK4A-ARF-INK4B gene cluster is silenced by polycomb during normal cell growth and is activated by oncogenic insults and during aging. How the polycomb is recruited to repress this gene cluster is unclear. Here, we show that expression of oncogenic Ras, which stimulates the expression of p15(INK4B) and p16(INK4A), but not p14(ARF), inhibits the expression of ANRIL (antisense non-coding RNA in the INK4 locus), a 3.8 kb-long non-coding RNA expressed in the opposite direction from INK4A-ARF-INK4B. We show that the p15(INK4B) locus is bound by SUZ12, a component of polycomb repression complex 2 (PRC2), and is H3K27-trimethylated. Notably, depletion of ANRIL disrupts the SUZ12 binding to the p15(INK4B) locus, increases the expression of p15(INK4B), but not p16(INK4A) or p14(ARF), and inhibits cellular proliferation. Finally, RNA immunoprecipitation demonstrates that ANRIL binds to SUZ12 in vivo. Collectively, these results suggest a model in which ANRIL binds to and recruits PRC2 to repress the expression of p15(INK4B) locus.

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