Regulation of p53 activity by HIPK2: Molecular mechanisms and therapeutical implications in human cancer cells

R. Puca, L. Nardinocchi, D. Givol, G. D'Orazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The p53 protein is the most studied tumor suppressor and the p53 pathway has been shown to mediate cellular stress responses that are disrupted when cancer develops. After DNA damage, p53 is activated as transcription factor to directly induce the expression of target genes involved in cell-cycle arrest, DNA repair, senescence and, importantly, apoptosis. Post-translational modifications of p53 are essential for the activation of p53 and for selection of target genes. The tumor suppressor homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) is a crucial regulator of p53 apoptotic function by phosphorylating its N-terminal serine 46 (Ser46) and facilitating Lys382 acetylation at the C-terminus. HIPK2 is activated by numerous genotoxic agents and can be deregulated in tumors by several conditions including hypoxia. Recent findings suggest that HIPK2 active/inactive protein can affect p53 function in multiple and unexpected ways. This makes p53 as well as HIPK2 interesting targets for cancer therapy. Hence, understanding the role of HIPK2 as p53 activator may provide important insights in the process of tumor progression, and may also serve as the crucial point in the diagnostic and therapeutical aspects of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4378-4387
Number of pages10
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2010


  • apoptosis
  • chemoresistance
  • HIPK2
  • p53
  • post-translational modifications
  • protein conformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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