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Cellular senescence is characterized by silencing of genes involved in DNA replication and cell cycle progression. Stable repression is crucial for preventing inappropriate DNA synthesis and the maintenance of a prolonged senescent state. Many of these genes are targets for E2F transcription factors. The pRB pathway plays a major role in senescence by directly repressing E2Fs and also by regulating chromatin at the promoters of E2F target genes using its LXCXE cleft-dependent interactions. In this study, we sought to investigate the mechanisms by which pRB stably silences E2F target gene transcription during cellular senescence. We report that in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, endogenous promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) associates with E2F target genes in a pRB LXCXE-dependent manner during HrasV12-induced senescence. Furthermore, using a PML-IV-induced senescence model, we show that the pRB LXCXE binding cleft is essential for PML association with gene promoters, silencing of E2F target genes, and stable cell cycle exit. Binding assays show that pRB can interact with PML specifically during senescence, suggesting that signaling events in senescence regulate assembly of PML and pRB to establish heterochromatin and create a permanent cell cycle arrest. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.