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Mol Cell. 2013 Aug 8;51(3):374-85. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.06.010. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

WIP1, a homeostatic regulator of the DNA damage response, is targeted by HIPK2 for phosphorylation and degradation.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea.


WIP1 (wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1) functions as a homeostatic regulator of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-mediated signaling pathway in response to ionizing radiation (IR). Here we identify homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) as a protein kinase that targets WIP1 for phosphorylation and proteasomal degradation. In unstressed cells, WIP1 is constitutively phosphorylated by HIPK2 and maintained at a low level by proteasomal degradation. In response to IR, ATM-dependent AMPKα2-mediated HIPK2 phosphorylation promotes inhibition of WIP1 phosphorylation through dissociation of WIP1 from HIPK2, followed by stabilization of WIP1 for termination of the ATM-mediated double-strand break (DSB) signaling cascade. Notably, HIPK2 depletion impairs IR-induced γ-H2AX foci formation, cell-cycle checkpoint activation, and DNA repair signaling, and the survival rate of hipk2+/- mice upon γ-irradiation is markedly reduced compared to wild-type mice. Taken together, HIPK2 plays a critical role in the initiation of DSB repair signaling by controlling WIP1 levels in response to IR.

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