Gene Summary

Gene:HIPK2; homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2
Aliases: PRO0593
Summary:This gene encodes a conserved serine/threonine kinase that is a member of the homeodomain-interacting protein kinase family. The encoded protein interacts with homeodomain transcription factors and many other transcription factors such as p53, and can function as both a corepressor and a coactivator depending on the transcription factor and its subcellular localization. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (50)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Breast Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Transcription
  • Transcription Factors
  • Translocation
  • Protein Binding
  • DNA Damage
  • Down-Regulation
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • p53 Protein
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Carrier Proteins
  • MicroRNAs
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Apoptosis
  • Mutation
  • BRAF
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromosome 7
  • Messenger RNA
  • Gene Expression
  • Drug Resistance
  • RNA Interference
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • siRNA
  • p300-CBP Transcription Factors
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Brain, Astrocytoma, Childhood
  • Western Blotting
  • Xenograft Models
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phosphorylation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: HIPK2 (cancer-related)

Qin Y, Hu Q, Ji S, et al.
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 suppresses proliferation and aerobic glycolysis via ERK/cMyc axis in pancreatic cancer.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12603 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the roles of the homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (HIPK) family of proteins in pancreatic cancer prognosis and the possible molecular mechanism.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression of HIPK family genes and their roles in pancreatic cancer prognosis were analysed by using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The roles of HIPK2 in pancreatic cancer proliferation and glycolysis were tested by overexpression of HIPK2 in pancreatic cancer cells, followed by cell proliferation assay, glucose uptake analysis and Seahorse extracellular flux analysis. The mechanism of action of HIPK2 in pancreatic cancer proliferation and glycolysis was explored by examining its effect on the ERK/cMyc axis.
RESULTS: Decreased HIPK2 expression indicated worse prognosis of pancreatic cancer. Overexpression of HIPK2 in pancreatic cancer cells decreased cell proliferation and attenuated aerobic glycolysis, which sustained proliferation of cancer cells. HIPK2 decreased cMyc protein levels and expression of cMyc-targeted glycolytic genes. cMyc was a mediator that regulated HIPK2-induced decrease in aerobic glycolysis. HIPK2 regulated cMyc protein stability via ERK activation, which phosphorylated and controlled cMyc protein stability.
CONCLUSIONS: HIPK2 suppressed proliferation of pancreatic cancer in part through inhibiting the ERK/cMyc axis and related aerobic glycolysis.

Ergun S, Güney S, Temiz E, et al.
Significance of miR-15a-5p and CNKSR3 as Novel Prognostic Biomarkers in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2018; 18(12):1695-1701 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In recent years, targeted cancer treatment methods at various molecular levels have been developed for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), one of two major subtypes of lung cancer. miRNAbased clinical trials are currently the preferred targeted therapeutic strategy. Also, ceRNAs (competing endogenous RNA) would be the newest and the most effective approach to uncover novel interactions between mRNAs and miRNAs in NSCLC carcinogenesis. There are many factors influencing the efficiency of a miRNA to suppress or silence translation of the target mRNA. The most effective event is the presence of other RNAs showing ceRNA activity. These RNAs contain binding sites for specific miRNAs and enable miRNAs to bind these pseudo targets, instead of the original binding sites on the target mRNA. Therefore, the mRNA of the target gene is less affected by this miRNA, while the amount of miRNA remains the same in the media.
METHOD: For this project, we determined that five clinically important different oncogenes (PDL1, FGFR1, DDX3X, SLC1A5, FXR1 ) are involved in the pathogenesis of NSCLC. For this purpose, we transfected model NSCLC cell line, A549, with miRNAs (miR-150-5p, miR-15a-5p, miR-503-5p) targeting these oncogenes to investigate whether these oncogenes will be suppressed at the mRNA level and also how the suppression efficiency of these miRNA on the oncogenes will be affected by possible ceRNA (CNKSR3, POU2F1, HIPK2) activities.
RESULTS: miR-15a-5p was determined to have the most suppressive effect on the five genes and three potential ceRNAs (p<0.05). Furthermore, CNKSR3 was the ceRNA most affected by all three miRNAs (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: CNKSR3 was affected more than the oncogenes known to act on NSCLC and this might make it a stronger and novel marker for use in possible treatment regimens designed using miR-15a-5p silencing effect on oncogenes in NSCLC pathogenesis. According to the literature, this is the first study associating NSCLC with miR-15a-5p and CNKSR3.

Conte A, Pierantoni GM
Update on the Regulation of HIPK1, HIPK2 and HIPK3 Protein Kinases by microRNAs.
Microrna. 2018; 7(3):178-186 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Homeodomain-Interacting Protein Kinases (HIPKs) HIPK1, HIPK2 and HIPK3 are Ser/Thr kinases which interact with homeobox proteins and other transcription factors, acting as transcriptional coactivators or corepressors. HIPKs contribute to regulate several biological processes, such as signal transduction, apoptosis, embryonic development, DNA-damage response, and cellular proliferation, in response to various extracellular stimuli. Recently it has emerged that, in addition to their role in cancer, fibrosis and diabetes, HIPKs may also be involved in other human diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Rett syndrome, cerebellar diseases, and retinal vascular dysfunction.
METHODS: Here, we update our previous paper concerning the regulation of HIPK proteins expression by microRNAs (miRNAs), pointing out the most recent findings about new cellular mechanisms and diseases which are affected by the interplay between HIPKs and miRNAs.
CONCLUSION: Recently, it has emerged that HIPKs and their related miRNAs are involved in diabetic nephropathy, gastric cancer chemoresistance, cervical cancer progression, and recombinant protein expression in cultured cells. Interestingly, circular RNAs (circRNAs) deriving from HIPK2 and HIPK3 loci also modulate cellular proliferation and viability by sponging several miRNAs, thus emerging as new putative therapeutic targets for diabetes-associated retinal vascular dysfunction, astrogliosis and cancer.

Liu OG, Xiong XY, Li CM, et al.
Role of Xeroderma Pigmentosum Group D in Cell Cycle and Apoptosis in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma A431 Cells.
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:453-460 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most widespread cancer in humans and its incidence is rising. Novel therapy with better efficacy is needed for clinical treatment of cSCC. Many studies have shown the importance of DNA repair pathways during the development of cancer. A key nucleotide excision repair (NER) protein, xeroderma pigmentosum group D (XPD), is responsible for the excision of a large variety of bulky DNA lesions. MATERIAL AND METHODS To explore the role of XPD in A431 cells, we overexpressed XPD in A431 cells and performed MTT assay, flow cytometry, and Western blot analysis to examine cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, and genes expression. RESULTS We found that the overexpression of XPD suppressed cell viability, induced cell cycle arrest at G1 phase, and promoted cell apoptosis. Additionally, XPD blocked the expression of c-myc, cdc25A, and cdk2, and improved the levels of HIPK2 and p53. CONCLUSIONS These results provide new evidence to reveal the role of XPD in cSCC A431 cells and suggest that XPD may serve as an anti-oncogene during cSCC development.

Tan X, Tang H, Bi J, et al.
MicroRNA-222-3p associated with Helicobacter pylori targets HIPK2 to promote cell proliferation, invasion, and inhibits apoptosis in gastric cancer.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(7):5153-5162 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer ranks as the second leading cause of malignancy-related death worldwide, and always diagnosed at advanced stage. MicroRNA-222-3p (miR-222-3p) is aberrantly upregulated in various malignant tumors including gastric cancer, but its role and underlying molecular mechanisms in gastric cancer remain largely unknown. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection acts as a trigger in the development of gastric cancer, and increasing evidence suggests that H. pylori affects microRNA expression. In this study, gastric cancer tissue samples were divided into H. pylori positive group (+) and negative group (-). QRT-PCR showed that miR-222-3p was significantly upregulated in H. pylori (+) group compared with H. pylori (-) group, and luciferase reporter assays identified homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) as a novel target of miR-222-3p in gastric cancer. Immunohistochemistry revealed that HIPK2 levels were decreased in H. pylori (+) group compared with H. pylori (-). After that, functional experiments indicated that miR-222-3p overexpression promoted the proliferation and invasion, while inhibiting apoptosis of SGC7901 gastric cancer cells, but miR-222-3p knockdown exhibited the opposite effects. Also, HIPK2 knockdown induced similar effects as miR-222-3p overexpression in SGC7901 cells. Nude mouse experiments further suggested that HIPK2 overexpression signally attenuated the enhancing effect of miR-222-3p overexpression on cell proliferation, indicating that the effect of miR-222-3p on gastric cancer progression depends on HIPK2, at least in part. Overall, our results demonstrated that miR-222-3p/HIPK2 signal pathway regulated gastric cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion, provided a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of gastric cancer infected by H. pylori.

Torrente L, Sanchez C, Moreno R, et al.
Crosstalk between NRF2 and HIPK2 shapes cytoprotective responses.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(44):6204-6212 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Homeodomain interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) is a member of the HIPK family of stress-responsive kinases that modulates cell growth, apoptosis, proliferation and development. HIPK2 has several well-characterised tumour suppressor roles, but recent studies suggest it can also contribute to tumour progression, although the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Herein, we have identified novel crosstalk between HIPK2 and the cytoprotective transcription factor NRF2. We show that HIPK2 is a direct transcriptional target of NRF2, identifying a functional NRF2 binding site in the HIPK2 gene locus and demonstrating for the first time a transcriptional mode of regulation for this kinase. In addition, HIPK2 is required for robust NRF2 responsiveness in cells and in vivo. By using both gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches, we demonstrate that HIPK2 can elicit a cytoprotective response in cancer cells via NRF2. Our results have uncovered a new downstream effector of HIPK2, NRF2, which is frequently activated in human tumours correlating with chemoresistance and poor prognosis. Furthermore, our results suggest that modulation of either HIPK2 levels or activity could be exploited to impair NRF2-mediated signalling in cancer cells, and thus sensitise them to chemotherapeutic drugs.

Kwon MJ, Kang SY, Nam ES, et al.
HIPK2 Overexpression and Its Prognostic Role in Human Papillomavirus-Positive Tonsillar Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Biomed Res Int. 2017; 2017:1056427 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tonsillar squamous cell carcinomas (TSCCs) are the most common human papillomavirus- (HPV-) associated oropharyngeal cancers with poor prognosis. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a central regulator of p53, which participates in apoptosis during the DNA damage response. HIPK2 is involved in HPV-associated uterine cervical and cutaneous carcinogenesis through its binding of HPV E6, thereby preventing apoptosis and contributing to tumor progression. However, its clinical and prognostic significance in TSCC remains unclear.

Tsui YM, Sze KM, Tung EK, et al.
Dishevelled-3 phosphorylation is governed by HIPK2/PP1Cα/ITCH axis and the non-phosphorylated form promotes cancer stemness via LGR5 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(24):39430-39442 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dishevelled-3 (Dvl3) is regarded as a binding hub with many different interacting partners. However, its regulation and mechanism on cancer stemness remain to be explored. In this study, we showed that Dvl3 was significantly overexpressed in human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and promoted cancer stemness both in vitro and in vivo. We found that the non-phosphorylated (NP)-Dvl3 was more stable than the phosphorylated form, more active in activating β-catenin transcriptional activity, and more potent in enhancing self-renewal ability in HCC cells. Mechanistically, we confirmed that the homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) and E3 ubiquitin ligase ITCH were able to physically bind to Dvl3 protein. Knockdown of HIPK2 and the protein phosphatase regulatory unit C-alpha (PP1Cα) resulted in sustained Dvl3 phosphorylation and hence decrease in the NP form of Dvl3. On the other hand, knockdown of E3 ubiquitin ligase ITCH reduced the phosphorylation-induced degradation and stabilized the phosphorylated Dvl3 protein. Furthermore, the NP-Dvl3 enhanced the LGR5 promoter activity to upregulate LGR5 expression, which was associated with increased cancer stemness in HCC. Our findings established that HIPK2/PP1Cα/ITCH axis sustains the de-phosphorylation of Dvl3. This post-translational modification of Dvl3 in turn maintains LGR5 expression and enhances the cancer stemness properties in HCC.

Barnoud T, Schmidt ML, Donninger H, Clark GJ
The role of the NORE1A tumor suppressor in Oncogene-Induced Senescence.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 400:30-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Ras genes are the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancer. However, Ras biology is quite complex. While Ras promotes tumorigenesis by regulating numerous growth promoting pathways, activated Ras can paradoxically also lead to cell cycle arrest, death, and Oncogene-Induced Senescence (OIS). OIS is thought to be a critical pathway that serves to protect cells against aberrant Ras signaling. Multiple reports have highlighted the importance of the p53 and Rb tumor suppressors in Ras mediated OIS. However, until recently, the molecular mechanisms connecting Ras to these proteins remained unknown. The RASSF family of tumor suppressors has recently been identified as direct effectors of Ras. One of these members, NORE1A (RASSF5), may be the missing link between Ras-induced senescence and the regulation of p53 and Rb. This occurs both quantitatively, by promoting protein stability, as well as qualitatively via promoting critical pro-senescent post-translational modifications. Here we review the mechanisms by which NORE1A can activate OIS as a barrier against Ras-mediated transformation, and how this could lead to improved therapeutic strategies against cancers having lost NORE1A expression.

Wang G, Zhu L, Zhao Y, et al.
A natural product from Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa inhibits homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2), attenuating MPP
Bioorg Chem. 2017; 72:64-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a conserved serine/threonine kinase, which regulate transcription, cell differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. Previous evidences indicated that HIPK2 could be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting as a novel target for Parkinson's disease (PD) therapeutic development. Herein, gene microarray analysis was performed to verify the key regulatory function of HIPK2 in PD. (Z)-methylp-hydroxycinnamate (ZMHC, 7) with other eighteen compounds were isolated from Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa, growing in Bama Yao Autonomous County, one of the five largest longevity regions of the world. Intriguingly, ZMHC was identified to bind HIPK2 with high affinity through molecular modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Moreover, cell morphology, flow cytometry and western blot assay suggested that ZMHC inhibited HIPK2, which attenuated MPP

Xie XQ, Zhao QH, Wang H, Gu KS
Dysregulation of mRNA profile in cisplatin-resistant gastric cancer cell line SGC7901.
World J Gastroenterol. 2017; 23(7):1189-1202 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To explore novel therapeutic target of cisplatin resistance in human gastric cancer.
METHODS: The sensitivity of SGC7901 cells and cisplatin-resistant SGC7901 cells (SGC7901/DDP) for cisplatin were detected by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. High-quality total RNA which isolated from SGC7901/DDP cells and SGC7901 cells were used for mRNA microarray analysis. Results were analyzed bioinformatically to predict their roles in the development of cisplatin resistance and the expression of 13 dysregulated mRNAs we selected were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
RESULTS: SGC7901/DDP cells highly resistant to cisplatin demonstrated by MTT assay. A total of 1308 mRNAs (578 upregulated and 730 downregulated) were differentially expressed (fold change ≥ 2 and
CONCLUSION: Exploration of those altered mRNAs may provide more promising strategy in diagnosis and therapy for gastric cancer with cisplatin resistance.

Feng Y, Zhou L, Sun X, Li Q
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2): a promising target for anti-cancer therapies.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(12):20452-20461 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The HIPK2 (serine/threonine homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2) is a "caretaker" gene, its inactivation increases tumorigenicity while its activation inhibits tumor growth. This report reviews the anti-tumorigenic mechanisms of HIPK2, which include promotion of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis in hypoxia, prevention of tumor invasion/metastasis and attenuation of multidrug resistance in cancer. Additionally, we summarize conditions or factors that may increase HIPK2 activity.

Mehra R, Vats P, Cieslik M, et al.
Biallelic Alteration and Dysregulation of the Hippo Pathway in Mucinous Tubular and Spindle Cell Carcinoma of the Kidney.
Cancer Discov. 2016; 6(11):1258-1266 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinoma (MTSCC) is a relatively rare subtype of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with distinctive morphologic and cytogenetic features. Here, we carry out whole-exome and transcriptome sequencing of a multi-institutional cohort of MTSCC (n = 22). We demonstrate the presence of either biallelic loss of Hippo pathway tumor suppressor genes (TSG) and/or evidence of alteration of Hippo pathway genes in 85% of samples. PTPN14 (31%) and NF2 (22%) were the most commonly implicated Hippo pathway genes, whereas other genes such as SAV1 and HIPK2 were also involved in a mutually exclusive fashion. Mutations in the context of recurrent chromosomal losses amounted to biallelic alterations in these TSGs. As a readout of Hippo pathway inactivation, a majority of cases (90%) exhibited increased nuclear YAP1 protein expression. Taken together, nearly all cases of MTSCC exhibit some evidence of Hippo pathway dysregulation.
SIGNIFICANCE: MTSCC is a rare and relatively recently described subtype of RCC. Next-generation sequencing of a multi-institutional MTSCC cohort revealed recurrent chromosomal losses and somatic mutations in the Hippo signaling pathway genes leading to potential YAP1 activation. In virtually all cases of MTSCC, there was evidence of Hippo pathway dysregulation, suggesting a common mechanistic basis for this disease. Cancer Discov; 6(11); 1258-66. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1197.

Haque M, Kendal JK, MacIsaac RM, Demetrick DJ
WSB1: from homeostasis to hypoxia.
J Biomed Sci. 2016; 23(1):61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The wsb1 gene has been identified to be important in developmental biology and cancer. A complex transcriptional regulation of wsb1 yields at least three functional transcripts. The major expressed isoform, WSB1 protein, is a substrate recognition protein within an E3 ubiquitin ligase, with the capability to bind diverse targets and mediate ubiquitinylation and proteolytic degradation. Recent data suggests a new role for WSB1 as a component of a neuroprotective pathway which results in modification and aggregation of neurotoxic proteins such as LRRK2 in Parkinson's Disease, via an unusual mode of protein ubiquitinylation.WSB1 is also involved in thyroid hormone homeostasis, immune regulation and cellular metabolism, particularly glucose metabolism and hypoxia. In hypoxia, wsb1 is a HIF-1 target, and is a regulator of the degradation of diverse proteins associated with the cellular response to hypoxia, including HIPK2, RhoGDI2 and VHL. Major roles are to both protect HIF-1 function through degradation of VHL, and decrease apoptosis through degradation of HIPK2. These activities suggest a role for wsb1 in cancer cell proliferation and metastasis. As well, recent work has identified a role for WSB1 in glucose metabolism, and perhaps in mediating the Warburg effect in cancer cells by maintaining the function of HIF1. Furthermore, studies of cancer specimens have identified dysregulation of wsb1 associated with several types of cancer, suggesting a biologically relevant role in cancer development and/or progression.Recent development of an inducible expression system for wsb1 could aid in the further understanding of the varied functions of this protein in the cell, and roles as a potential oncogene and neuroprotective protein.

Schulten HJ, Hussein D, Al-Adwani F, et al.
Microarray Expression Data Identify DCC as a Candidate Gene for Early Meningioma Progression.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153681 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Meningiomas are the most common primary brain tumors bearing in a minority of cases an aggressive phenotype. Although meningiomas are stratified according to their histology and clinical behavior, the underlying molecular genetics predicting aggressiveness are not thoroughly understood. We performed whole transcript expression profiling in 10 grade I and four grade II meningiomas, three of which invaded the brain. Microarray expression analysis identified deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) as a differentially expressed gene (DEG) enabling us to cluster meningiomas into DCC low expression (3 grade I and 3 grade II tumors), DCC medium expression (2 grade I and 1 grade II tumors), and DCC high expression (5 grade I tumors) groups. Comparison between the DCC low expression and DCC high expression groups resulted in 416 DEGs (p-value<0.05; fold change>2). The most significantly downregulated genes in the DCC low expression group comprised DCC, phosphodiesterase 1C (PDE1C), calmodulin-dependent 70kDa olfactomedin 2 (OLFM2), glutathione S-transferase mu 5 (GSTM5), phosphotyrosine interaction domain containing 1 (PID1), sema domain, transmembrane domain (TM) and cytoplasmic domain, (semaphorin) 6D (SEMA6D), and indolethylamine N-methyltransferase (INMT). The most significantly upregulated genes comprised chromosome 5 open reading frame 63 (C5orf63), homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2), and basic helix-loop-helix family, member e40 (BHLHE40). Biofunctional analysis identified as predicted top upstream regulators beta-estradiol, TGFB1, Tgf beta complex, LY294002, and dexamethasone and as predicted top regulator effectors NFkB, PIK3R1, and CREBBP. The microarray expression data served also for a comparison between meningiomas from female and male patients and for a comparison between brain invasive and non-invasive meningiomas resulting in a number of significant DEGs and related biofunctions. In conclusion, based on its expression levels, DCC may constitute a valid biomarker to identify those benign meningiomas at risk for progression.

Danza K, Silvestris N, Simone G, et al.
Role of miR-27a, miR-181a and miR-20b in gastric cancer hypoxia-induced chemoresistance.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2016; 17(4):400-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite the search for new therapeutic strategies for gastric cancer (GC), there is much evidence of progression due to resistance to chemotherapy. Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the ability of cancer cells to survive after exposure to chemotherapeutic agents. The involvement of miRNAs in the development of MDR has been well described but miRNAs able to modulate the sensitivity to chemotherapy by regulating hypoxia signaling pathways have not yet been fully addressed in GC. Our aim was to analyze miR-20b, miR-27a and miR-181a expression with respect to (epirubicin/oxaliplatin/capecitabine (EOX)) chemotherapy regimen in a set of GC patients, in order to investigate whether miRNAs deregulation may influence GC MDR also via hypoxia signaling modulation. Cancer biopsy were obtained from 21 untreated HER2 negative advanced GC patients, retrospectively analyzed. All patients received a first-line chemotherapy (EOX) regimen. MirWalk database was used to identify miR-27a, miR-181a and miR-20b target genes. The expression of miRNAs and of HIPK2, HIF1A and MDR1 genes were detected by real-time PCR. HIPK2 localization was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Our data showed the down-regulation of miR-20b, miR-27a, miR-181a concomitantly to higher levels of MDR1, HIF1A and HIPK2 genes in GC patients with a progressive disease respect to those with a disease control rate. Moreover, immunohistochemistry assay highlighted a higher cytoplasmic HIPK2 staining, suggesting a different role for it. We showed that aberrant expression of miR-20b, miR27a and miR-181a was associated with chemotherapeutic response in GC through HIF1A, MDR1 and HIPK2 genes modulation, suggesting a possible novel therapeutic strategy.

Di Rocco G, Verdina A, Gatti V, et al.
Apoptosis induced by a HIPK2 full-length-specific siRNA is due to off-target effects rather than prevalence of HIPK2-Δe8 isoform.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(2):1675-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are widely used to study gene function and extensively exploited for their potential therapeutic applications. HIPK2 is an evolutionary conserved kinase that binds and phosphorylates several proteins directly or indirectly related to apoptosis. Recently, an alternatively spliced isoform skipping 81 nucleotides of exon 8 (Hipk2-Δe8) has been described. Selective depletion of Hipk2 full-length (Hipk2-FL) with a specific siRNA that spares the Hipk2-Δe8 isoform has been shown to strongly induce apoptosis, suggesting an unpredicted dominant-negative effect of Hipk2-FL over the Δe8 isoform. From this observation, we sought to take advantage and assessed the therapeutic potential of generating Hipk2 isoform unbalance in tumor-initiating cells derived from colorectal cancer patients. Strong reduction of cell viability was induced in vitro and in vivo by the originally described exon 8-specific siRNA, supporting a potential therapeutic application. However, validation analyses performed with additional exon8-specific siRNAs with different stabilities showed that all exon8-targeting siRNAs can induce comparable Hipk2 isoform unbalance but only the originally reported e8-siRNA promotes cell death. These data show that loss of viability does not depend on the prevalence of Hipk2-Δe8 isoform but it is rather due to microRNA-like off-target effects.

Conrad E, Polonio-Vallon T, Meister M, et al.
HIPK2 restricts SIRT1 activity upon severe DNA damage by a phosphorylation-controlled mechanism.
Cell Death Differ. 2016; 23(1):110-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Upon severe DNA damage a cellular signalling network initiates a cell death response through activating tumour suppressor p53 in association with promyelocytic leukaemia (PML) nuclear bodies. The deacetylase Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) suppresses cell death after DNA damage by antagonizing p53 acetylation. To facilitate efficient p53 acetylation, SIRT1 function needs to be restricted. How SIRT1 activity is regulated under these conditions remains largely unclear. Here we provide evidence that SIRT1 activity is limited upon severe DNA damage through phosphorylation by the DNA damage-responsive kinase HIPK2. We found that DNA damage provokes interaction of SIRT1 and HIPK2, which phosphorylates SIRT1 at Serine 682 upon lethal damage. Furthermore, upon DNA damage SIRT1 and HIPK2 colocalize at PML nuclear bodies, and PML depletion abrogates DNA damage-induced SIRT1 Ser682 phosphorylation. We show that Ser682 phosphorylation inhibits SIRT1 activity and impacts on p53 acetylation, apoptotic p53 target gene expression and cell death. Mechanistically, we found that DNA damage-induced SIRT1 Ser682 phosphorylation provokes disruption of the complex between SIRT1 and its activator AROS. Our findings indicate that phosphorylation-dependent restriction of SIRT1 activity by HIPK2 shapes the p53 response.

Valente D, Bossi G, Moncada A, et al.
HIPK2 deficiency causes chromosomal instability by cytokinesis failure and increases tumorigenicity.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(12):10320-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
HIPK2, a cell fate decision kinase inactivated in several human cancers, is thought to exert its oncosuppressing activity through its p53-dependent and -independent apoptotic function. However, a HIPK2 role in cell proliferation has also been described. In particular, HIPK2 is required to complete cytokinesis and impaired HIPK2 expression results in cytokinesis failure and tetraploidization. Since tetraploidy may yield to aneuploidy and chromosomal instability (CIN), we asked whether unscheduled tetraploidy caused by loss of HIPK2 might contribute to tumorigenicity. Here, we show that, compared to Hipk2+/+ mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs), hipk2-null MEFs accumulate subtetraploid karyotypes and develop CIN. Accumulation of these defects inhibits proliferation and spontaneous immortalization of primary MEFs whereas increases tumorigenicity when MEFs are transformed by E1A and Harvey-Ras oncogenes. Upon mouse injection, E1A/Ras-transformed hipk2-null MEFs generate tumors with genetic alterations resembling those of human cancers derived by initial tetraploidization events, such as pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Thus, we evaluated HIPK2 expression in different stages of pancreatic transformation. Importantly, we found a significant correlation among reduced HIPK2 expression, high grade of malignancy, and high nuclear size, a marker of increased ploidy. Overall, these results indicate that HIPK2 acts as a caretaker gene, whose inactivation increases tumorigenicity and causes CIN by cytokinesis failure.

Kwon MJ, Min SK, Seo J, et al.
HIPK2 expression in progression of cutaneous epithelial neoplasm.
Int J Dermatol. 2015; 54(3):347-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is responsible for a DNA damage response, centrally regulating p53. The aberrant HIPK2 expression is known to be involved in carcinogenesis in several malignancies. However, the correlation of HIPK2 expression along with progression of cutaneous epithelial neoplasm has not been investigated.
METHODS: Using immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, we examined the correlation between HIPK2 and HIPK2-related protein expressions and the progression of some cutaneous epithelial neoplasms (i.e., actinic keratosis, Bowen's disease, keratoacanthoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma).
RESULTS: HIPK2 expression was distinct between preinvasive and invasive lesions: the expression decreased in keratoacanthoma (none of eight) and squamous cell carcinoma (five of 35) compared to actinic keratosis (12 of 19) and Bowen's disease (10 of 23) (P < 0.001). HIPK2 expression was also negatively correlated with aggressiveness of basal cell carcinoma; high-risk subtypes showed lower HIPK2 expression than did low-risk subtypes (P < 0.001). HIPK2 mRNA expression of each tumor group was significantly higher than that of normal skin. HIPK2 mRNA expression of each tumor group was not correlated with the relevant HIPK2 protein expression, which was consistent with previous studies.
CONCLUSIONS: HIPK2 expression tends to be decreased along tumor progression and may be involved with the invasive potential, suggesting a possible tumor suppressor role for HIPK2.

Zhou L, Feng Y, Jin Y, et al.
Verbascoside promotes apoptosis by regulating HIPK2-p53 signaling in human colorectal cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:747 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We investigated the role of the HIPK2-p53 signaling pathway in tumorigenesis and resistance to the drug Verbascoside (VB) in colorectal cancer (CRC), using in vivo and in vitro experiments.
METHODS: Primary human CRC samples and normal intestinal tissues from patients were analyzed for HIPK2 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and its expression was correlated against patients' clinicopathological characteristics. Human CRC HCT-116 cells were implanted in BALB/c nude mice; mice with xenografted tumors were randomly administrated vehicle (control), 20, 40, or 80 mg/mL VB, or 1 mg/mL fluorouracil (5-FU). HIPK2, p53, Bax, and Bcl-2 expression in these tumors were determined by IHC. In vitro effects of VB on CRC cell proliferation and apoptosis were measured by CCK-8 assay and flow cytometry; HIPK2, p53, p-p53, Bax, and Bcl-2 were measured by western blot.
RESULTS: IHC analysis for 100 human CRC tumor samples and 20 normal intestinal tissues, showed HIPK2 expression to inversely correlate with Dukes stage and depth of invasion in CRC (P<0.05). In vivo, the inhibition rates of 20, 40, and 80 mg/mL VB on CRC xenograft tumor weight were 42.79%, 53.90%, and 60.99%, respectively, and were accompanied by increased expression of HIPK2, p53, and Bax, and decreased Bcl-2 expression in treated tumors. In vitro, VB significantly inhibited proliferation of CRC cell lines HCT-116, HT-29, LoVo, and SW620, in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The apoptosis rates of 25, 50, and 100 μM VB on HCT-116 cells were 10.83±1.28, 11.25±1.54, and 20.19±2.87%, and on HT-29 cells were 18.92±6.12, 21.57±4.05, and 25.14±6.73%, respectively. In summary, VB treatment significantly enhanced the protein expression of pro-apoptotic HIPK2, p53, p-p53, Bax, and decreased anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression in CRC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: HIPK2 protein modulates the phosphorylation status of p53, and levels of Bax and Bcl-2 in CRC. We also found that VB effectively activated the HIPK2-p53 signaling pathway, resulting in increased CRC cell apoptosis.

Lin J, Zhang Q, Lu Y, et al.
Downregulation of HIPK2 increases resistance of bladder cancer cell to cisplatin by regulating Wip1.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98418 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy regimen is a reasonable alternative to cystectomy in advanced/metastatic bladder cancer, but acquisition of cisplatin resistance is common in patients with bladder cancer. Previous studies showed that loss of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) contributes to cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. However, the role of HIPK2 in regulating chemoresistance of cancer cell is not fully understood. In the present study, we found that HIPK2 mRNA and protein levels are significantly decreased in cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer cell in vivo and in vitro. Downregulation of HIPK2 increases the cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner during cisplatin treatment, whereas overexpression of HIPK2 reduces the cell viability. HIPK2 overexpression partially overcomes cisplatin resistance in RT4-CisR cell. Furthermore, we showed that Wip1 (wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1) expression is upregulated in RT4-CisR cell compared with RT4 cell, and HIPK2 negatively regulates Wip1 expression in bladder cancer cell. HIPK2 and Wip1 expression is also negatively correlated after cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy in vivo. Finally, we demonstrated that overexpression of HIPK2 sensitizes chemoresistant bladder cancer cell to cisplatin by regulating Wip1 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that HIPK2/Wip1 signaling represents a novel pathway regulating chemoresistance, thus offering a new target for chemotherapy of bladder cancer.

Tan M, Gong H, Zeng Y, et al.
Downregulation of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 contributes to bladder cancer metastasis by regulating Wnt signaling.
J Cell Biochem. 2014; 115(10):1762-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (Hipk2) has been shown to have important regulatory roles in cancer biology, such as cancer cell proliferation, cell cycle, and cell invasion. However, the contributions of Hipk2 to bladder cancer metastasis remain largely unknown. In the current study, we assayed the expression level of Hipk2 in bladder cancer tissues by real-time PCR, and defined its biological functions. We found that Hipk2 levels were downregulated in most bladder cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues, and Hipk2 levels were remarkably decreased in metastasized tumor tissues when compared with primary tumors. SiRNA-mediated Hipk2 silencing increased bladder cancer cell invasion. Hipk2 knockdown resulted in decrease of E-cadherin expression and increase of N-cadherin and fibronectin expression, indicated that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was induced. We further demonstrated that Hipk2 knockdown induced Wnt signaling activation and β-catenin nuclear localization. Finally, we confirmed that Hipk2 inhibition promoted EMT and subsequent cell invasion, at least in part by activating Wnt signaling. These data suggest an important role of Hipk2 in regulating metastasis of bladder cancer and implicate the potential application of Hipk2 in bladder cancer therapy.

Fleischmann KK, Pagel P, Schmid I, Roscher AA
RNAi-mediated silencing of MLL-AF9 reveals leukemia-associated downstream targets and processes.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The translocation t(9;11)(p22;q23) leading to the leukemogenic fusion gene MLL-AF9 is a frequent translocation in infant acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This study aimed to identify genes and molecular processes downstream of MLL-AF9 (alias MLL-MLLT3) which could assist to develop new targeted therapies for such leukemia with unfavorable prognosis.
METHODS: In the AML cell line THP1 which harbors this t(9;11) translocation, endogenous MLL-AF9 was silenced via siRNA while ensuring specificity of the knockdown and its efficiency on functional protein level.
RESULTS: The differential gene expression profile was validated for leukemia-association by gene set enrichment analysis of published gene sets from patient studies and MLL-AF9 overexpression studies and revealed 425 differentially expressed genes. Gene ontology analysis was consistent with a more differentiated state of MLL-AF9 depleted cells, with involvement of a wide range of downstream transcriptional regulators and with defined functional processes such as ribosomal biogenesis, chaperone binding, calcium homeostasis and estrogen response. We prioritized 41 gene products as candidate targets including several novel and potentially druggable effectors of MLL-AF9 (AHR, ATP2B2, DRD5, HIPK2, PARP8, ROR2 and TAS1R3). Applying the antagonist SCH39166 against the dopamine receptor DRD5 resulted in reduced leukemic cell characteristics of THP1 cells.
CONCLUSION: Besides potential new therapeutic targets, the described transcription profile shaped by MLL-AF9 provides an information source into the molecular processes altered in MLL aberrant leukemia.

Tong Y, Li QG, Xing TY, et al.
HIF1 regulates WSB-1 expression to promote hypoxia-induced chemoresistance in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(16):2530-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
WSB-1 is involved in DNA damage response by targeting homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) for ubiquitination and degradation. Here, we report that hypoxia significantly up-regulates the expression of WSB-1 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. We also provide evidence that WSB-1 is a target of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). Silencing the expression of HIF-1α in HCC cells by RNA interference abolishes hypoxia-induced WSB-1 expression. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays, we identified a HRE of the WSB-1 gene. Moreover, silencing the expression of WSB-1 by RNA interference rescues HIPK2 expression in hypoxic HCC cells and promotes etoposide-induced cell death in hypoxic HCC cells. Taken together, these data shed light on the mechanisms underlying hypoxia-induced chemoresistance in HCC cells.

Saul VV, Schmitz ML
Posttranslational modifications regulate HIPK2, a driver of proliferative diseases.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2013; 91(9):1051-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The serine/threonine kinase homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (HIPK2) is a tumor suppressor and functions as an evolutionary conserved regulator of signaling and gene expression. This kinase regulates a surprisingly vast array of biological processes that range from the DNA damage response and apoptosis to hypoxia signaling and cell proliferation. Recent studies show the tight control of HIPK2 by hierarchically occurring posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation, small ubiquitin-like modifier modification, acetylation, and ubiquitination. The physiological function of HIPK2 as a regulator of cell proliferation and survival has a downside: proliferative diseases. Dysregulation of HIPK2 can result in increased proliferation of cell populations as it occurs in cancer or fibrosis. We discuss various models that could explain how inappropriate expression, modification, or localization of HIPK2 can be a driver for these proliferative diseases.

Kurokawa K, Akaike Y, Masuda K, et al.
Downregulation of serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 induces G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(11):1407-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3) likely has wide-ranging roles in gene expression and facilitation of tumor cell growth. SRSF3 knockdown induced G1 arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells (HCT116) in association with altered expression of 833 genes. Pathway analysis revealed 'G1/S Checkpoint Regulation' as the most highly enriched category in the affected genes. SRSF3 knockdown did not induce p53 or stimulate phosphorylation of p53 or histone H2A.X in wild-type HCT116 cells. Furthermore, the knockdown induced G1 arrest in p53-null HCT116 cells, suggesting that p53-dependent DNA damage responses did not mediate the G1 arrest. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting confirmed that SRSF3 knockdown reduced mRNA and protein levels of cyclins (D1, D3 and E1), E2F1 and E2F7. The decreased expression of cyclin D and E2F1 likely impaired the G1-to-S-phase progression. Consequently, retinoblastoma protein remained hypophosphorylated in SRSF3 knockdown cells. The knockdown also induced apoptosis in association with reduction of BCL2 protein levels. We also found that SRSF3 knockdown facilitated skipping of 81 5'-nucleotides (27 amino acids) from exon 8 of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) and produced a HIPK2 Δe8 isoform. Full-length HIPK2 (HIPK2 FL) is constantly degraded through association with an E3 ubiquitin ligase (Siah-1), whereas HIPK2 Δe8, lacking the 27 amino acids, lost Siah-1-binding ability and became resistant to proteasome digestion. Interestingly, selective knockdown of HIPK2 FL induced apoptosis in various colon cancer cells expressing wild-type or mutated p53. Thus, these findings disclose an important role of SRSF3 in the regulation of the G1-to-S-phase progression and alternative splicing of HIPK2 in tumor growth.

Imberg-Kazdan K, Ha S, Greenfield A, et al.
A genome-wide RNA interference screen identifies new regulators of androgen receptor function in prostate cancer cells.
Genome Res. 2013; 23(4):581-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The androgen receptor (AR) is a mediator of both androgen-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancers. Identification of cellular factors affecting AR transcriptional activity could in principle yield new targets that reduce AR activity and combat prostate cancer, yet a comprehensive analysis of the genes required for AR-dependent transcriptional activity has not been determined. Using an unbiased genetic approach that takes advantage of the evolutionary conservation of AR signaling, we have conducted a genome-wide RNAi screen in Drosophila cells for genes required for AR transcriptional activity and applied the results to human prostate cancer cells. We identified 45 AR-regulators, which include known pathway components and genes with functions not previously linked to AR regulation, such as HIPK2 (a protein kinase) and MED19 (a subunit of the Mediator complex). Depletion of HIPK2 and MED19 in human prostate cancer cells decreased AR target gene expression and, importantly, reduced the proliferation of androgen-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. We also systematically analyzed additional Mediator subunits and uncovered a small subset of Mediator subunits that interpret AR signaling and affect AR-dependent transcription and prostate cancer cell proliferation. Importantly, targeting of HIPK2 by an FDA-approved kinase inhibitor phenocopied the effect of depletion by RNAi and reduced the growth of AR-positive, but not AR-negative, treatment-resistant prostate cancer cells. Thus, our screen has yielded new AR regulators including drugable targets that reduce the proliferation of castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.

Wang Y, Liu F, Mao F, et al.
Interaction with cyclin H/cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CCNH/CDK7) stabilizes C-terminal binding protein 2 (CtBP2) and promotes cancer cell migration.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(13):9028-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CtBP2 has been demonstrated to possess tumor-promoting capacities by virtue of up-regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and down-regulating apoptosis in cancer cells. As a result, cellular CtBP2 levels are considered a key factor determining the outcome of oncogenic transformation. How pro-tumorigenic and anti-tumorigenic factors compete for fine-tuning CtBP2 levels is incompletely understood. Here we report that the cyclin H/cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CCNH/CDK7) complex interacted with CtBP2 in vivo and in vitro. Depletion of either CCNH or CDK7 decreased CtBP2 protein levels by accelerating proteasome-dependent CtBP2 clearance. Further analysis revealed that CCNH/CDK7 competed with the tumor repressor HIPK2 for CtBP2 binding and consequently inhibited phosphorylation and dimerization of CtBP2. Phosphorylation-defective CtBP2 interacted more strongly with CCNH/CDK7 and was more resistant to degradation. Finally, overexpression of CtBP2 increased whereas depletion of CtBP2 dampened the invasive and migratory potential of breast cancer cells. CtBP2 promoted the invasion and migration of breast cancer cells in a CCNH-dependent manner. Taken together, our data have delineated a novel pathway that regulates CtBP2 stability, suggesting that targeting the CCNH/CDK7-CtBP2 axis may yield a viable anti-tumor strategy.

Song H, Boo JH, Kim KH, et al.
Critical role of presenilin-dependent γ-secretase activity in DNA damage-induced promyelocytic leukemia protein expression and apoptosis.
Cell Death Differ. 2013; 20(4):639-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Promyelocytic leukemia (PML) is a major component of macromolecular multiprotein complexes called PML nuclear-bodies (PML-NBs). These PML-NBs recruit numerous proteins including CBP, p53 and HIPK2 in response to DNA damage, senescence and apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the effect of presenilin (PS), the main component of the γ-secretase complex, in PML/p53 expression and downstream consequences during DNA damage-induced cell death using camptothecin (CPT). We found that the loss of PS in PS knockout (KO) MEFs (mouse embryonic fibroblasts) results in severely blunted PML expression and attenuated cell death upon CPT exposure, a phenotype that is fully reversed by re-expression of PS1 in PS KO cells and recapitulated by γ-secretase inhibitors in hPS1 MEFs. Interestingly, the γ-secretase cleavage product, APP intracellular domain (AICD), together with Fe65-induced PML expression at the protein and transcriptional levels in PS KO cells. PML and p53 reciprocally positively regulated each other during CPT-induced DNA damage, both of which were dependent on PS. Finally, elevated levels of PML-NB, PML protein and PML mRNA were detected in the brain tissues from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, where γ-secretase activity is essential for pathogenesis. Our data provide for the first time, a critical role of the PS/AICD-PML/p53 pathway in DNA damage-induced apoptosis, and implicate this pathway in AD pathogenesis.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. HIPK2, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancer-genetics.org/HIPK2.htm Accessed:

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