Open Access Open Badges Research article

Genome wide gene expression regulation by HIP1 Protein Interactor, HIPPI: Prediction and validation

Moumita Datta1, Ananyo Choudhury23, Ansuman Lahiri2 and Nitai P Bhattacharyya1*

Author Affiliations

1 Crystallography and Molecular Biology Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF Bidhan Nagar, Kolkata 700 064, India

2 Department of Biophysics, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Calcutta, 92 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700009, India

3 Wits Bioinformatics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Private Bag 3, 2050 Wits, South Africa

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:463  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-463

Published: 26 September 2011



HIP1 Protein Interactor (HIPPI) is a pro-apoptotic protein that induces Caspase8 mediated apoptosis in cell. We have shown earlier that HIPPI could interact with a specific 9 bp sequence motif, defined as the HIPPI binding site (HBS), present in the upstream promoter of Caspase1 gene and regulate its expression. We also have shown that HIPPI, without any known nuclear localization signal, could be transported to the nucleus by HIP1, a NLS containing nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling protein. Thus our present work aims at the investigation of the role of HIPPI as a global transcription regulator.


We carried out genome wide search for the presence of HBS in the upstream sequences of genes. Our result suggests that HBS was predominantly located within 2 Kb upstream from transcription start site. Transcription factors like CREBP1, TBP, OCT1, EVI1 and P53 half site were significantly enriched in the 100 bp vicinity of HBS indicating that they might co-operate with HIPPI for transcription regulation. To illustrate the role of HIPPI on transcriptome, we performed gene expression profiling by microarray. Exogenous expression of HIPPI in HeLa cells resulted in up-regulation of 580 genes (p < 0.05) while 457 genes were down-regulated. Several transcription factors including CBP, REST, C/EBP beta were altered by HIPPI in this study. HIPPI also interacted with P53 in the protein level. This interaction occurred exclusively in the nuclear compartment and was absent in cells where HIP1 was knocked down. HIPPI-P53 interaction was necessary for HIPPI mediated up-regulation of Caspase1 gene. Finally, we analyzed published microarray data obtained with post mortem brains of Huntington's disease (HD) patients to investigate the possible involvement of HIPPI in HD pathogenesis. We observed that along with the transcription factors like CREB, P300, SREBP1, Sp1 etc. which are already known to be involved in HD, HIPPI binding site was also significantly over-represented in the upstream sequences of genes altered in HD.


Taken together, the results suggest that HIPPI could act as an important transcription regulator in cell regulating a vast array of genes, particularly transcription factors and at least, in part, play a role in transcription deregulation observed in HD.