Hes6 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that functions in the differentiation of pluripotent progenitor cells and during tumorigenesis. However, the molecular mechanism for its function is largely unknown. Here we show that Hes6 is a component of the promyelocytic leukemia nuclear body (PML-NB) complex in the nuclei and that Hes6 inhibits cell proliferation through induction of p21 cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. We further show that Hes6 directly interacts with CREB-binding protein (CBP), one of the key components of PML-NB, via its basic domain. This association is critical for p21 induction through multiple mechanisms, including chromatin remodeling and p53 acetylation. Taken together, these results suggest that the Hes6-CBP complex in PML-NB may influence the proliferation of cells via p53-dependent and-independent pathways.