High mobility group I (Y) proteins bind HIPK2, a serine-threonine kinase protein which inhibits cell growth

Giovanna Maria Pierantoni, Monica Fedele, Francesca Pentimalli, Giovanna Benvenuto, Raffaela Pero, Giuseppe Viglietto, Massimo Santoro, Lorenzo Chiariotti, Alfredo Fusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The HMGI proteins (HMGI, HMGY and HMGI-C) have an important role in the chromatin organization and interact with different transcriptional factors. The HMGI genes are expressed at very low levels in normal adult tissues, whereas they are very abundant during embryonic development and in several experimental and human tumours. In order to isolate proteins interacting with the HMGI(Y) proteins, a yeast two-hybrid screening was performed using the HMGI(Y) protein as bait. This analysis led to the isolation of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2), a serine/threonine nuclear kinase. HIPK2 co-immunoprecipitates with the HMGI(Y) protein in 293T cells. The interaction between HIPK2 and HMGI(Y) occurs through the PEST domain of HIPK2 and it is direct because in vitro translated HIPK2 binds HMGI(Y). We also show that HIPK2 is able to phosphorylate the HMGI(Y) protein by an in vitro kinase assay. In order to understand a possible role of HIPK2 gene in cell growth we performed a colony assay which showed an impressive HIPK2 inhibitory effect on normal thyroid cells. Flow cytometric analysis would indicate the block of cell growth at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Since normal thyroid cells do not express detectable HMGI(Y) protein levels, we assume that the HIPK2 inhibitory effect is independent from the interaction with the HMGI(Y) protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6132-6141
Number of pages10
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - Sep 27 2001


  • Growth inhibition
  • HIPK2
  • HMGI(Y)
  • Serine-threonine kinase
  • Yeast two-hybrid screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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