The homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (HIPK) family is comprised of four highly related serine/threonine kinases originally identified as co-repressors for various homeodomain-containing transcription factors. The HIPKs have been shown to be involved in growth regulation and apoptosis, with numerous studies highlighting HIPK regulation of the tumor suppressor p53. In this study, we have discovered a B cell homeostatic defect in HIPK1-deficient (HIPK1−/−) mice. Lymphopoietic populations within the thymus and bone marrow of HIPK1−/− mice appeared normal based upon FACS analysis; however, the spleen exhibited a reduced number of total B cells with a significant loss of transitional-1 and follicular B cell populations. Interestingly, the marginal zone B cell population was expanded in HIPK1−/− mice, yielding an increased frequency of these cells. HIPK1−/− B cells exhibited impaired cell division in response to B cell receptor cross-linking in vitro based upon thymidine incorporation or CFSE dilution; however, the addition of CD40L rescued HIPK1−/− proliferation to wild-type levels. Despite the expanded MZ B cell population in the HIPK1−/− mice, the T-independent type 2 humoral response was impaired. These data identify HIPK1 as a novel kinase required for optimal B cell function in mice.
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 1 (Hipk1), 2, and 3 genes encode evolutionarily conserved nuclear serine/threonine kinases, which were originally identified as interacting with homeodomain-containing proteins. Hipks have been repeatedly identified as interactors for a vast range of functional proteins, including not only transcriptional regulators and chromatin modifiers but also cytoplasmic signal transducers, transmembrane proteins, and the E2 component of SUMO ligase. Gain-of-function experiments using cultured cells indicate growth regulatory roles for Hipks on receipt of morphogenetic and genotoxic signals. However, Hipk1 and Hipk2 singly deficient mice were grossly normal, and this is expected to be due to a functional redundancy between Hipk1 and Hipk2. Therefore, we addressed the physiological roles of Hipk family proteins by using Hipk1 Hipk2 double mutants. Hipk1 Hipk2 double homozygotes are progressively lost between 9.5 and 12.5 days postcoitus and frequently fail to close the anterior neuropore and exhibit exencephaly. This is most likely due to defective proliferation in the neural fold and underlying paraxial mesoderm, particularly in the ventral region, which may be attributed to decreased responsiveness to Sonic hedgehog signals. The present study indicated the overlapping roles for Hipk1 and Hipk2 in mediating cell proliferation and apoptosis in response to morphogenetic and genotoxic signals during mouse development.
The tumor suppressor homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) by phosphorylating serine 46 (Ser46) is a crucial regulator of p53 apoptotic function. HIPK2 is also a transcriptional co-repressor of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) restraining tumor angiogenesis and chemoresistance. HIPK2 can be deregulated in tumors by several mechanisms including hypoxia. Here, we sought to target hypoxia by restoring HIPK2 function and suppressing HIF-1α, in order to provide evidence for the involvement of both HIPK2 and p53 in counteracting hypoxia-induced chemoresistance.
Upon exposure of colon and lung cancer cells to hypoxia, by either low oxygen or cobalt, HIPK2 function was impaired allowing for increased HIF-1α expression and inhibiting the p53-apoptotic response to drug. Cobalt suppressed HIPK2 recruitment onto HIF-1α promoter. Hypoxia induced expression of the p53 target MDM2 that downregulates HIPK2, thus MDM2 inhibition by siRNA restored the HIPK2/p53Ser46 response to drug. Zinc supplementation to hypoxia-treated cells increased HIPK2 protein stability and nuclear accumulation, leading to restoration of HIPK2 binding to HIF-1α promoter, repression of MDR1, Bcl2, and VEGF genes, and activation of the p53 apoptotic response to drug. Combination of zinc and ADR strongly suppressed tumor growth in vivo by inhibiting HIF-1 pathway and upregulating p53 apoptotic target genes.
We show here for the first time that hypoxia-induced HIPK2 deregulation was counteracted by zinc that restored HIPK2 suppression of HIF-1 pathway and reactivated p53 apoptotic response to drug, underscoring the potential use of zinc supplementation in combination with chemotherapy to address hypoxia and improve tumor treatment.
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a multitalented protein that exploits its kinase activity to modulate key molecular pathways in cancer to restrain tumor growth and induce response to therapies. HIPK2 phosphorylates oncosuppressor p53 for apoptotic activation. In addition, also p53-independent apoptotic pathways are regulated by HIPK2 and can be exploited for anticancer purpose too. Therefore, HIPK2 activity is considered a central switch in targeting tumor cells toward apoptosis upon genotoxic damage and the preservation and/or restoration of HIPK2 function is crucial for an efficient tumor response to therapies. As a proof of principle, HIPK2 knockdown impairs p53 function, induces chemoresistance, angiogenesis, and tumor growth in vivo, on the contrary, HIPK2 overexpression activates apoptotic pathways, counteracts hypoxia, inhibits angiogenesis, and induces chemosensitivity both in p53-dependent and -independent ways. The role of HIPK2 in restraining tumor development was also confirmed by studies with HIPK2 knockout mice. Recent findings demonstrated that HIPK2 inhibitions do exist in tumors and depend by several mechanisms including HIPK2 cytoplasmic localization, protein degradation, and loss of heterozygosity (LOH), recapitulating the biological outcome obtained by RNA interference studies in tumor cells, such as p53 inactivation, resistance to therapies, apoptosis inhibition, and tumor progression. These findings may lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for treating cancer patients. This review will focus on the last updates about HIPK2 contribution in tumorigenesis and cancer treatment.
HIPK2; Oncosuppressor p53; p53-family members; Apoptosis; Genotoxic damage; Hypoxia; Tumorigenesis; siRNA interference; Gene knockout; Cytokinesis
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) plays an essential role in restraining tumor progression as it may regulate, by itself or within multiprotein complexes, many proteins (mainly transcription factors) involved in cell growth and apoptosis. This study takes advantage of the recent finding that HIPK2 may repress the β-catenin transcription activity. Thus, we investigated whether HIPK2 overexpression may down-regulate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels (a β-catenin target gene) and the role of β-catenin in this regulation, in order to consider HIPK2 as a tool for novel anti-tumoral therapeutical approaches.
The regulation of VEGF expression by HIPK2 was evaluated by using luciferase assay with VEGF reporter construct, after overexpression of the β-catenin transcription factor. Relative quantification of VEGF and β-catenin mRNAs were assessed by reverse-transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses, following HIPK2 overexpression, while β-catenin protein levels were evaluated by western immunoblotting.
HIPK2 overexpression in tumor cells downregulated VEGF mRNA levels and VEGF promoter activity. The VEGF downregulation was partly depending on HIPK2-mediated β-catenin regulation. Thus, HIPK2 could induce β-catenin protein degradation that was prevented by cell treatment with proteasome inhibitor MG132. The β-catenin degradation was dependent on HIPK2 catalytic activity and independent of p53 and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) activities.
These results suggest that VEGF might be a target of HIPK2, at least in part, through regulation of β-catenin activity. These findings support the function of HIPK2 as tumor suppressor and hypothesise a role for HIPK2 as antiangiogenic tool in tumor therapy approaches.
High-mobility group A1 (HMGA1) overexpression and gene rearrangement are frequent events in human cancer, but the molecular basis of HMGA1 oncogenic activity remains unclear. Here we describe a mechanism through which HMGA1 inhibits p53-mediated apoptosis by counteracting the p53 proapoptotic activator homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2). We found that HMGA1 overexpression promoted HIPK2 relocalization in the cytoplasm and inhibition of p53 apoptotic function, while HIPK2 overexpression reestablished HIPK2 nuclear localization and sensitivity to apoptosis. HIPK2 depletion by RNA interference suppressed the antiapoptotic effect of HMGA1, which indicates that HIPK2 is the target required for HMGA1 to repress the apoptotic activity of p53. Consistent with this process, a strong correlation among HMGA1 overexpression, HIPK2 cytoplasmic localization, and low spontaneous apoptosis index (comparable to that observed in mutant p53–carrying tumors) was observed in WT p53–expressing human breast carcinomas. Hence, cytoplasmic relocalization of HIPK2 induced by HMGA1 overexpression is a mechanism of inactivation of p53 apoptotic function that we believe to be novel.
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinases including HIPK1, HIPK2 and HIPK3 are serine/threonine kinases that form a family of highly conserved kinases. HIPKs are involved in diverse cellular functions including regulation cell death, survival, proliferation and differentiation. Here we report the characterization of a human HIPK4 that we identified in a proteomic screen during our efforts to unravel novel markers linked to cell death and survival. Human HIPK4 protein is composed of 616 residues with predicted molecular mass of 69.425 kDa and harbors a serine/threonine protein kinase catalytic domain at its N-terminal end. In the in vitro kinase assay, HIPK4 exhibits kinase activity and mutation of the conserved lysine 40 or aspartic acid 136 residue in its catalytic domain inactivates its kinase function. Human HIPK4 harbors multiple putative serine/threonine- and tyrosine-specific phsophorylation sites and also contains four high probability sumoylation sites, findings that suggest its function to be modulated by post-translational modifications. HIPK4 has been so named in the database because of its sequence homology to HIPK1, 2 and 3 predominantly within its catalytic domain. However, HIPK4 is smaller in size than the known HIPKs and has additional distinct features suggesting it to be a unique member of the HIPK family. Further functional characterization of HIPK4 is needed and will prove valuable to ascertain whether it performs distinct functions or share overlapping functions with other HIPKs.
Kinase; HIPK family; HIPK4; Phosphorylation; Sumoylation; Site-directed mutagenesis
Ultraviolet irradiation (UV) is the major risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests cutaneotropic human papillomaviruses (HPV) from the beta genus to play a causal role as a co-factor in the development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) operates as a potential suppressor in skin tumorigenesis and is stabilized by UV-damage. HIPK2 is an important regulator of apoptosis, which forms a complex with the tumor suppressor p53, mediating p53 phosphorylation at Ser 46 and thus promoting pro-apoptotic gene expression. In our study, we demonstrate that cutaneous HPV23 E6 protein directly targets HIPK2 function. Accordingly, HPV23 E6 interacts with HIPK2 both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, upon massive UVB-damage HPV23 E6 co-localizes with endogenous HIPK2 at nuclear bodies. Functionally, we demonstrate that HPV23 E6 inhibits HIPK2-mediated p53 Ser 46 phosphorylation through enforcing dissociation of the HIPK2/p53 complex. In addition, HPV23 E6 co-accumulates with endogenous HIPK2 upon UV damage suggesting a mechanism by which HPV23 E6 keeps HIPK2 in check after UV damage. Thus, cutaneous HPV23 E6 prevents HIPK2-mediated p53 Ser 46 phosphorylation, which may favour survival of UV-damaged keratinocytes and skin carcinogenesis by apoptosis evasion.
Galectin 3 (Gal-3), a member of the β-galactoside binding lectin family, exhibits antiapoptotic functions, and its aberrant expression is involved in various aspects of tumor progression. Here we show that p53-induced apoptosis is associated with transcriptional repression of Gal-3. Previously, it has been reported that phosphorylation of p53 at Ser46 is important for transcription of proapoptotic genes and induction of apoptosis and that homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is specifically involved in these functions. We show that HIPK2 cooperates with p53 in Gal-3 repression and that this cooperation requires HIPK2 kinase activity. Gene-specific RNA interference demonstrates that HIPK2 is essential for repression of Gal-3 upon induction of p53-dependent apoptosis. Furthermore, expression of a nonrepressible Gal-3 prevents HIPK2- and p53-induced apoptosis. These results reveal a new apoptotic pathway induced by HIPK2-activated p53 and requiring repression of the antiapoptotic factor Gal-3.
Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) is a potent trophic factor for midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, but its in vivo function and signaling mechanisms are not entirely understood. We show that the transcriptional cofactor homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is required for the TGFβ-mediated survival of mouse DA neurons. The targeted deletion of Hipk2 has no deleterious effect on the neurogenesis of DA neurons, but leads to a selective loss of these neurons that is due to increased apoptosis during programmed cell death. As a consequence, Hipk2−/− mutants show an array of psychomotor abnormalities. The function of HIPK2 depends on its interaction with receptor-regulated Smads to activate TGFβ target genes. In support of this notion, DA neurons from Hipk2−/− mutants fail to survive in the presence of TGFβ3 and Tgfβ3−/− mutants show DA neuron abnormalities similar to those seen in Hipk2−/− mutants. These data underscore the importance of the TGFβ-Smad-HIPK2 pathway in the survival of DA neurons and its potential as a therapeutic target for promoting DA neuron survival during neurodegeneration.
The MUC1 oncoprotein interacts with the c-Abl tyrosine kinase and blocks nuclear targeting of c-Abl in the apoptotic response to DNA damage. Mutation of the MUC1 cytoplasmic domain at Tyr-60 disrupts the MUC1-c-Abl interaction. The present results demonstrate that the MUC1(Y60F) mutant is a potent inducer of the ARF tumor suppressor. MUC1(Y60F) induces transcription of the ARF locus by a c-Abl-dependent mechanism that promotes CUL-4A-mediated nuclear export of the replication protein Cdc6. The functional significance of these findings is that MUC1(Y60F)-induced ARF expression and thereby inhibition of MDM2 results in the upregulation of p53 and the homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) serine/threonine kinase. HIPK2-mediated phosphorylation of p53 on Ser-46 was further associated with a shift from expression of the cell cycle arrest-related p21 gene to the apoptosis-related PUMA gene. We also show that the MUC1(Y60F) mutant functions as dominant negative inhibitor of tumorigenicity. These findings indicate that the oncogenic function of MUC1 is conferred by suppressing activation of the ARF-MDM2-p53 pathway.
MUC1; ARF; MDM2; p53; HIPK2; INK4
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a nuclear serine/threonine kinase of the subfamily of dual-specificity Yak1-related kinase proteins. HIPK2 was first described as a homeodomain-interacting protein kinase acting as a corepressor for homeodomain transcription factors. More recently, it was reported that HIPK2 plays a role in p53-mediated cellular apoptosis and could also participate in the regulation of the cell cycle. US11 protein of herpes simplex virus type 1 is a multifunctional protein involved in the regulation of several processes related to the survival of cells submitted to environmental stresses by mechanisms that are not fully elucidated. In an attempt to better understand the multiple functions of US11, we identified cellular binding partners of this protein by using the yeast two-hybrid system. We report that US11 interacts with HIPK2 through the PEST domain of HIPK2 and that this interaction occurs also in human cells. This interaction modifies the subcellular distribution of HIPK2 and protects the cell against the HIPK2-induced cell growth arrest.
Homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is an evolutionary conserved serine/threonine kinase whose activity is fundamental in maintaining wild-type p53 function, thereby controlling the destiny of cells when exposed to DNA damaging agents. We recently reported an altered conformational state of p53 in tissues from patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) that led to an impaired and dysfunctional response to stressors.
Here we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the impairment of p53 activity in two cellular models, HEK-293 cells overexpressing the amyloid precursor protein and fibroblasts from AD patients, starting from recent findings showing that p53 conformation may be regulated by HIPK2. We demonstrated that beta-amyloid 1–40 induces HIPK2 degradation and alters HIPK2 binding activity to DNA, in turn regulating the p53 conformational state and vulnerability to a noxious stimulus. Expression of HIPK2 was analysed by western blot experiments, whereas HIPK2 DNA binding was examined by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. In particular, we evaluated the recruitment of HIPK2 onto some target promoters, including hypoxia inducible factor-1α and metallothionein 2A.
These results support the existence of a novel amyloid-based pathogenetic mechanism in AD potentially leading to the survival of injured dysfunctional cells.
p53 transcriptional activity depends mainly on posttranslational modifications and protein/protein interaction. Another important mechanism that controls p53 function is its conformational stability since p53 is an intrinsically unstable protein. An altered conformational state of p53, independent from point mutations, has been reported in tissues from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), leading to an impaired and dysfunctional response to stressors. Recent evidence shows that one of the activators that induces p53 posttranslational modification and wild-type conformational stability is homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2). Hence, conditions that induce HIPK2 deregulation would result in a dysfunctional response to stressors by affecting p53 activity. Discovering the mechanisms of HIPK2 activation/inhibition and the ways to manipulate HIPK2 activity are an interesting option to affect several biological pathways, including those underlying AD. Soluble beta-amyloid peptides have recently been involved in HIPK2 degradation, in turn regulating the p53 conformational state and vulnerability to a noxious stimulus, before triggering the amyloidogenic cascade. Here we discuss about these findings and the potential relevance of HIPK2 as a target for AD and highlight the existence of a novel amyloid-based mechanism in AD potentially leading to the survival of injured dysfunctional cells.
Alzheimer's disease; beta-amyloid peptides; p53 conformation; HIPK2
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a new CREB kinase for phosphorylation at Ser-271 but not Ser-133 in genotoxic stress and activates CREB transactivation function including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression.
CREB (cyclic AMP response element-binding protein) is a stimulus-induced transcription factor that plays pivotal roles in cell survival and proliferation. The transactivation function of CREB is primarily regulated through Ser-133 phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) and related kinases. Here we found that homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2), a DNA-damage responsive nuclear kinase, is a new CREB kinase for phosphorylation at Ser-271 but not Ser-133, and activates CREB transactivation function including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression. Ser-271 to Glu-271 substitution potentiated the CREB transactivation function. ChIP assays in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells demonstrated that CREB Ser-271 phosphorylation by HIPK2 increased recruitment of a transcriptional coactivator CBP (CREB binding protein) without modulation of CREB binding to the BDNF CRE sequence. HIPK2−/− MEF cells were more susceptible to apoptosis induced by etoposide, a DNA-damaging agent, than HIPK2+/+ cells. Etoposide activated CRE-dependent transcription in HIPK2+/+ MEF cells but not in HIPK2−/− cells. HIPK2 knockdown in SH-SY5Y cells decreased etoposide-induced BDNF mRNA expression. These results demonstrate that HIPK2 is a new CREB kinase that regulates CREB-dependent transcription in genotoxic stress.
Fas is a cell surface death receptor that signals apoptosis. Several proteins have been identified that bind to the cytoplasmic death domain of Fas. Fas-associated death domain (FADD), which couples Fas to procaspase-8, and Daxx, which couples Fas to the Jun NH2-terminal kinase pathway, bind independently to the Fas death domain. We have identified a 130-kD kinase designated Fas-interacting serine/threonine kinase/homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (FIST/HIPK3) as a novel Fas-interacting protein. Binding to Fas is mediated by a conserved sequence in the COOH terminus of the protein. FIST/HIPK3 is widely expressed in mammalian tissues and is localized both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm. In transfected cell lines, FIST/HIPK3 causes FADD phosphorylation, thereby promoting FIST/HIPK3–FADD–Fas interaction. Although Fas ligand–induced activation of Jun NH2-terminal kinase is impaired by overexpressed active FIST/HIPK3, cell death is not affected. These results suggest that Fas-associated FIST/HIPK3 modulates one of the two major signaling pathways of Fas.
Fas/CD95; apoptosis; kinase; Jun NH2-terminal kinase; signal transduction
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2), a transcriptional co-repressor with apoptotic function, can affect hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) transcriptional activity, through downmodulation of its HIF-1α subunit, in normoxic condition. Under hypoxia, a condition often found in solid tumors, HIF-1α is activated to induce target genes involved in chemoresistance, inhibition of apoptosis and tumor progression. Here, we investigated whether the HIPK2 overexpression could downregulate HIF-1α expression and activity in tumor cells treated with hypoxia-mimicking condition, and evaluated whether HIPK2-dependent downregulation of HIF-1α could sensitize chemoresistant tumor cells to adriamycin (ADR)-induced apoptosis.
Tumor cell lines carrying wild-type p53, siRNA p53, or mutant p53 were overexpressed with HIPK2 (full length or catalytic inactive mutant) and treated with cobalt chloride (CoCl2) to mimic hypoxia, in the presence or absence of ADR treatment. HIF-1α expression was measured by semiquantitative reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR and Western immunoblotting and HIF-1 activity was evaluated by luciferase assay using reporter plasmid containing hypoxia response elements (HREs) upstream of luciferase gene. HIF-1 target genes, including multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) and the antiapoptotic Bcl2 were determined by RT-PCR. Cell survival and apoptosis were measured by colony assay and cleavage of the caspase-3 substrate PARP, respectively.
Overexpression of HIPK2 resulted in downmodulation of cobalt-stabilized HIF-1α protein and HIF-1α mRNA levels, with subsequent inhibition of HIF-1 transcriptional activity. MDR1 and Bcl-2 gene expression was downmodulated by HIPK2 overexpression in cobalt-treated cells. Inhibition of HIF-1 transcriptional activity was dependent on HIPK2 catalytic activity. HIPK2 overexpression did not induce per se apoptosis of cobalt-treated cells, on the contrary it sensitized cobalt-treated cells to ADR-induced apoptosis, regardless of their p53 status.
The ability of HIPK2 to restore the apoptosis-inducing potential of chemotherapeutic drug in hypoxia-mimicking condition and therefore to sensitize chemoresistant tumor cells suggests that HIPK2 may induce fundamental alterations in cell signaling pathways, involving or not p53 function. Thus potential use of HIPK2 is promising for cancer treatment by potentiating cytotoxic therapies, regardless of p53 cell status.
Steroids are synthesized in adrenal glands and gonads under the control of pituitary peptides. These peptides bind to cell surface receptors to activate the cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling pathway leading to an increase of steroidogenic gene expression. Exactly how cAMP activates steroidogenic gene expression is not clear, except for the knowledge that transcription factor SF-1 plays a key role. Investigating the factors participating in SF-1 action, we found that c-Jun and homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 3 (HIPK3) were required for basal and cAMP-stimulated expression of one major steroidogenic gene, CYP11A1. HIPK3 enhanced SF-1 activity, and c-Jun was required for the functional interaction of HIPK3 with SF-1. Furthermore, after cAMP stimulation, both c-Jun and Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) were phosphorylated through HIPK3. These phosphorylations were important for SF-1 activity and CYP11A1 expression. Thus, we have defined HIPK3-mediated JNK activity and c-Jun phosphorylation as important events that increase SF-1 activity for CYP11A1 transcription in response to cAMP. This finding has linked three common factors, HIPK3, JNK, and c-Jun, to the cAMP signaling pathway leading to increased steroidogenic gene expression.
The chromosomal high-mobility group A (HMGA) proteins, comprising of HMGA1a, HMGA1b and HMGA2, play important roles in the regulation of numerous processes in eukaryotic cells, such as transcriptional regulation, DNA repair, RNA processing, and chromatin remodeling. The biological activities of HMGA1 proteins are highly regulated by their post-translational modifications (PTMs), including acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation. Recently, it was found that the homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2), a newly identified serine/threonine kinase, co-immunoprecipitated with, and phosphorylated HMGA1 proteins. However, the sites and the biological significance of the phosphorylation have not been elucidated. Here, we found that HIPK2 phosphorylates HMGA1a at Ser-35, Thr-52, and Thr-77, and HMGA1b at Thr-41 and Thr-66. In addition, we demonstrated that cdc2, which is known to phosphorylate HMGA1 proteins, could induce the phosphorylation of HMGA1 proteins at the same Ser/Thr sites. The two kinases, however, exhibited different site preferences for the phosphorylation: The preference for HIPK2 phosphorylation followed the order of Thr-77 > Thr-52 > Ser-35, whereas the order for cdc2 phosphorylation was Thr-52 > Thr-77 > Ser-35. Moreover, we found that the HIPK2-phosphorylated HMGA1a reduced the binding affinity of HMGA1a to human germ line ε promoter, and the drop in binding affinity induced by HIPK2 phosphorylation was lower than that introduced by cdc2 phosphorylation, which is consistent with the notion that the second AT-hook in HMGA1a is more important for DNA binding than the third AT-hook.
Here we report that both HIPK2 and cdc2 phosphorylate HMGA1a at Ser-35, Thr-52 and Thr-77, but the two kinases exhibit different site preferences. Moreover, we found that HIPK2-induced phosphorylation of HMGA1a reduced the binding affinity of HMGA1a to DNA, and the drop in binding affinity was lower than that introduced by cdc2 phosphorylation, confirming that the second AT-hook in HMGA1a is more important than the third AT-hook for DNA binding.
The p53 oncosuppressor is very seldom mutated in neuroblastoma, but several mechanisms cooperate to its functional inactivation in this tumor. Increased MDM2 levels, due to genetic amplification or constitutive inhibition of p14 ARF, significantly contribute to this event highlighting p53 reactivation as an attractive perspective for neuroblastoma treatment. In addition to its role in tumorigenesis, MYCN sensitizes untransformed and cancer cells to apoptosis. This is associated to a fine modulation of the MDM2–p53 pathway. Indeed MYCN induces p53 and MDM2 transcription, and, by evoking a DNA damage response (DDR), it stabilizes p53 and its proapoptotic kinase Homeodomain Interacting Protein Kinase 2 (HIPK2). Through the regulation of the HIPK2-p53 inhibitor High Mobility Group protein A1 (HMGA1) and the homeobox proteins BMI-1 and TWIST-1, MYCN establishes a delicate balance between pro- and antiapoptotic molecules that might be easily perturbed by a variety of insults, leading to cell death. MDM2–p53 antagonists, such as Nutlin-3, are strikingly prone to inducing death in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, by further pushing on HIPK2 accumulation. Here we discuss implications and caveats of exploiting this pathway and its connections to MYCN-induced DDR for a tailored therapy of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma; HIPK2; MYCN; HMGA1; MDM2-antagonists
Activation of p53-mediated gene transcription is a critical cellular response to DNA damage and involves a phosphorylation-acetylation cascade of p53. The discovery of differences in the response to different agents raises the question whether some of the p53 oncosuppressor functions might be exerted by different posttranslational modifications. Stress-induced homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) phosphorylates p53 at serine-46 (Ser46) for p53 apoptotic activity; p53 acetylation at different C-terminus lysines including p300-mediated lysine-382 (Lys382) is also required for full activation of p53 transcriptional activity. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the interplay among HIPK2, p300, and p53 in p53 acetylation and apoptotic transcriptional activity in response to drug by using siRNA interference, p300 overexpression or deacetylase inhibitors, in cancer cells.
Knockdown of HIPK2 inhibited both adriamycin-induced Ser46 phosphorylation and Lys382 acetylation in p53 protein; however, while combination of ADR and zinc restored Ser46 phosphorylation it did not recover Lys382 acetylation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies showed that HIPK2 was required in vivo for efficient p300/p53 co-recruitment onto apoptotic promoters and that both p53 modifications at Ser46 and Lys382 were necessary for p53 apoptotic transcription. Thus, p53Lys382 acetylation in HIPK2 knockdown as well as p53 apoptotic activity in response to drug could be rescued by p300 overexpression. Similar effect was obtained with the Sirt1-inhibitor nicotinamide. Interestingly trichostatin A (TSA), the inhibitor of histone deacetylase complexes (HDAC) did not have effect, suggesting that Sirt1 was the deacetylase involved in p53 deacetylation in HIPK2 knockdown.
These results reveal a novel role for HIPK2 in activating p53 apoptotic transcription. Our results indicate that HIPK2 may regulate the balance between p53 acetylation and deacetylation, by stimulating on one hand co-recruitment of p300 and p53Lys382 on apoptotic promoters and on the other hand by inhibiting Sirt1 deacetylase activity. We attempted to reactivate p53 apoptotic transcriptional activity by rescuing both Ser46 and Lys382 modification in response to drug. Our data propose combination strategies for the treatment of tumors with dysfunctional p53 and/or HIPK2 that include classical chemotherapy with pharmacological or natural agents such as Sirt1-deacetylase inhibitors or zinc, respectively.
Trophic factor signaling is important for the migration, differentiation and survival of enteric neurons during development. The mechanisms that regulate the maturation of enteric neurons in postnatal life, however, are poorly understood. Here, we show that transcriptional cofactor HIPK2 (homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2) is required for the maturation of enteric neurons and for regulating gliogenesis during postnatal development. Mice lacking HIPK2 display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) phenotypes, including distention of colon and slowed GI transit time. Although loss of HIPK2 does not affect enteric neuron in prenatal development, a progressive loss of enteric neurons occurs during postnatal life in Hipk2−/− -mutant mice that preferentially affects the dopaminergic population of neurons in the caudal region of the intestine. The mechanism by which HIPK2 regulates postnatal enteric neuron development appears to involve the response of enteric neurons to bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Specifically, compared to wild type mice, a larger proportion of enteric neurons in Hipk2−/−mutants have abnormally high level of phosphorylated Smad1/5/8. Consistent with the ability of BMP signaling to promote gliogenesis, Hipk2−/− mutants show a significant increase in glia in the ENS. In addition, numbers of autophagosomes are increased in enteric neurons in Hipk2−/−mutants and synaptic maturation is arrested. These results reveal a new role for HIPK2 as an important transcriptional cofactor that regulates the BMP signaling pathway in the maintenance of enteric neurons and glia, and further suggest that HIPK2 and its associated signaling mechanisms may be therapeutically altered to promote postnatal neuronal maturation.
HIPK2; TGFβ; BMP; Enteric Neurons; Dopaminergic Neurons; S100β; Gliogenesis; Synaptogenesis; Autophagosome; Maturation
Kidney fibrosis is a common process that leads to the progression of kidney diseases. We used an integrated computational/experimental systems biology approach to identify upstream protein kinases that regulate gene expression changes in kidneys of HIV-1 transgenic mice (Tg26), which have both tubulo-interstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis. We identified the homeo-domain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) as a key regulator of kidney fibrosis. HIPK2 was upregulated in kidneys of Tg26 and patients with various kidney diseases. HIV infection increased the protein level of HIPK2 by promoting oxidative stress, which inhibited SIAH1-mediated proteasomal degradation of HIPK2. HIPK2 induced apoptosis and expression of epithelial-mesenchymal trans-differentiation markers in kidney epithelial cells by activating p53, TGF-β/Smad3, and Wnt/Notch pathways. Knockout of HIPK2 improved renal function and attenuated proteinuria and kidney fibrosis in Tg26 as well as in other animal models of kidney fibrosis. We conclude that HIPK2 is a potential target for anti-fibrosis therapy.
HIPK2; tubular epithelial cells; HIV; fibrosis; systems biology
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a multifunctional protein that exploits its kinase activity to modulate key molecular pathways in cancer to restrain tumor growth and induce response to therapies. For instance, HIPK2 knockdown induces upregulation of oncogenic hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) activity leading to a constitutive hypoxic and angiogenic phenotype with increased tumor growth in vivo. HIPK2 inhibition, therefore, releases pathways leading to production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Tumor-produced inflammatory mediators other than promote tumour growth and vascular development may permit evasion of anti-tumour immune responses. Thus, dendritic cells (DCs) dysfunction induced by tumor-produced molecules, may allow tumor cells to escape immunosurveillance. Here we evaluated the molecular mechanism of PGE2 production after HIPK2 depletion and how to modulate it.
We show that HIPK2 knockdown in colon cancer cells resulted in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) upregulation and COX-2-derived PGE2 generation. At molecular level, COX-2 upregulation depended on HIF-1 activity. We previously reported that zinc treatment inhibits HIF-1 activity. Here, zinc supplementation to HIPK2 depleted cells inhibited HIF-1-induced COX-2 expression and PGE2/VEGF production. At translational level, while conditioned media of both siRNA control and HIPK2 depleted cells inhibited DCs maturation, conditioned media of only zinc-treated HIPK2 depleted cells efficiently restored DCs maturation, seen as the expression of co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, cytokine IL-10 release, and STAT3 phosphorylation.
These findings show that: 1) HIPK2 knockdown induced COX-2 upregulation, mostly depending on HIF-1 activity; 2) zinc treatment downregulated HIF-1-induced COX-2 and inhibited PGE2/VEGF production; and 3) zinc treatment of HIPK2 depleted cells restored DCs maturation.
We describe an interaction between homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 1 (HIPK1) and Daxx, two transcriptional regulators important in transducing growth-regulatory signals. We demonstrate that HIPK1 is ubiquitously expressed in mice and humans and localizes predominantly to the nucleus. Daxx normally resides within the nucleus in promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) oncogenic domains (PODs), where it physically interacts with PML. Under certain circumstances, Daxx is relocalized from PODs to chromatin, where it then acts as a transcriptional repressor through an association with histone deacetylase (HDAC1). We propose two novel mechanisms for regulating the activity of Daxx, both mediated by HIPK1. First, HIPK1 physically interacts with Daxx in cells and consequently relocalizes Daxx from PODs. Daxx relocalization disrupts its interaction with PML and augments its interaction with HDAC1, likely influencing Daxx activity. Although the relocalization of Daxx from PODs is phosphorylation independent, an active HIPK1 kinase domain is required, suggesting that HIPK1 autophosphorylation is important in this interaction. Second, HIPK1 phosphorylates Daxx on Ser 669, and phosphorylation of this site is important in modulating the ability of Daxx to function as a transcriptional repressor. Mutation of Daxx Ser 669 to Ala results in increased repression in three of four transcriptional reporters, suggesting that phosphorylation by HIPK1 diminishes Daxx transcriptional repression of specific promoters. Taken together, our results indicate that HIPK1 and Daxx collaborate in regulating transcription.