Special Issue "Deciphering alternative functions of the INK4a/ARF locus"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Vivo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The CDKN2a/ARF locus encodes two completely unrelated proteins, p16INK4a and ARF, thanks to alternative first exons and a shared second exon that is endowed with two overlapped ORFs. The two proteins, although not displaying amino acid sequence identity, share the function of both being potent tumor suppressors. While p16INK4a (inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6) blocks cells in the G1 phase by functioning in the pRb pathway, ARF (alternative reading frame) halts cell growth by both p53-dependent and independent routes through multiple mechanisms. In recent years, a pro-oncogenic function has been observed for ARF, thus highlighting a multifaceted role for this protein. Indeed, ARF appears to play a role in cellular stress response, autophagy, mitochondrial homeostasis, differentiation, anoikis resistance and tumor evolution. Besides, the locus itself is epigenetically re-shaped during development, and both its protein products appear to counteract stemness and to play a role in aging. This Special Issue aims to collect experimental observations about the functions of both ARF and INK4a, as well as the mechanisms that control their expression, in either physiological or pathological contexts. The presence of overlapped ORFs within exon 2, highly conserved during evolution, raises the question of how this unique genomic arrangement might have come about, leading to the intriguing speculation that the organization of INK4A-ARF genes could reflect the need for a finely coordinated control of the two proteins’ expression.

Dr. Maria Vivo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomolecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • tumor suppression
  • autophagy
  • anoikis
  • sumoylation
  • CDKN2a locus
  • cytoskeleton
  • senescence
  • oxidative stress
  • ribosomal biogenesis
  • B23

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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