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Here we report the cloning and functional characterization of the cyclin D-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (Cdk4/6) inhibitory protein Cdkn2d/p19Ink4d of Xenopuslaevis (Xl-Ink4d).Xl-Ink4d is the only Ink4 family gene highly expressed during Xenopus development and its transcripts were detected maternally and during neurulation. The Xl-Ink4d protein has 63% identity to mouse and human Cdkn2d/p19Ink4d and its function as a negative regulator of cell cycle traverse is evolutionary conserved. Indeed, Xl-lnk4d can functionally substitute for mouse Cdkn2d in binding to mouse Cdk4 and inhibiting cyclin-D1-dependent CDK4 kinase activity. Further, enforced expression of Xl-lnk4d arrests mouse fibroblasts in the G1 phase of the cell cycle.These findings indicate that CDKN2d/p19Ink4d is conserved through vertebrate evolution and suggest Xl-lnk4d may contribute to the development of Xenopuslaevis.