Akt phosphorylates the transcriptional repressor Bmi1 to block its effects on the tumor-suppressing Ink4a-Arf locus

Academic Article


  • The Polycomb group protein Bmi1 is a transcriptional silencer of the Ink4a-Arf locus, which encodes the cell cycle regulator p16Ink4a and the tumor suppressor p19Arf. Bmi1 plays a key role in oncogenesis and stem cell self-renewal. We report that phosphorylation of human Bmi1 at Ser316 by Akt impaired its function by triggering its dissociation from the Ink4a-Arf locus, which resulted in decreased ubiquitylation of histone H2A and the inability ofBmi1 to promote cellular proliferation and tumor growth. Moreover, Akt-mediated phosphorylation of Bmi1 also inhibited its ability to promote self-renewal of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Our study provides a mechanismfor the increased abundance of p16Ink4a and p19Arfseen in cancer cells with an activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase to Akt signaling pathway and identifies crosstalk between phosphorylation events and chromatin structure.
  • Published In

  • Science Signaling  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liu Y; Liu F; Yu H; Zhao X; Sashida G; Deblasio A; Harr M; She QB; Chen Z; Lin HK
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 247