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Oncogene. 2008 Sep 25;27(43):5706-16. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.179. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

DAPK2 is a novel E2F1/KLF6 target gene involved in their proapoptotic function.

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  • 11Experimental Oncology/Hematology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Death-associated protein kinase 2 (DAPK2) belongs to a family of proapoptotic Ca(2+)/calmodulin-regulated serine/threonine kinases. We recently identified DAPK2 as an enhancing factor during granulocytic differentiation. To identify transcriptional DAPK2 regulators, we cloned 2.7 kb of the 5'-flanking region of the DAPK2 gene. We found that E2F1 and Kr├╝ppel-like factor 6 (KLF6) strongly activate the DAPK2 promoter. We mapped the E2F1 and KLF6 responsive elements to a GC-rich region 5' of exon 1 containing several binding sites for KLF6 and Sp1 but not for E2F. Moreover, we showed that transcriptional activation of DAPK2 by E2F1 and KLF6 is dependent on Sp1 using Sp1/KLF6-deficient insect cells, mithramycin A treatment to block Sp1-binding or Sp1 knockdown cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed recruitment of Sp1 and to lesser extent that of E2F1 and KLF6 to the DAPK2 promoter. Activation of E2F1 in osteosarcoma cells led to an increase of endogenous DAPK2 paralleled by cell death. Inhibition of DAPK2 expression resulted in significantly reduced cell death upon E2F1 activation. Similarly, KLF6 expression in H1299 cells increased DAPK2 levels accompanied by cell death that is markedly decreased upon DAPK2 knockdown. Moreover, E2F1 and KLF6 show cooperation in activating the DAPK2 promoter. In summary, our findings establish DAPK2 as a novel Sp1-dependent target gene for E2F1 and KLF6 in cell death response.

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