Casein kinase 2 inhibition decreases hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activity under hypoxia through elevated p53 protein level

A. Hubert, S. Paris, J.-P. Piret, N. Ninane, M. Raes, C. Michiels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


HIF-1 (hypoxia-inducible factor-1) is the main transcription factor involved in the adaptation of cells to hypoxia. In addition to regulation of HIF-1α protein level, HIF-1 activity is also enhanced by several pathways involving asparagine hydroxylation and phosphorylation. Here, we investigated the relationship between casein kinase 2 (CK2), p53 and HIF-1. An increase in p53 protein level and transcriptional activity was observed when CK2 was inhibited by different inhibitors under normoxia and hypoxia. This increase was in parallel with a decrease in HIF-1 activity without changes in HIF-1α protein level, indicating a regulation of its transcriptional activity. Similar results were obtained using CK2α siRNA. Ectopic overexpression of p53 also led to an inhibition of HIF-1 activity. Conversely, CK2 inhibition had no effect in p53-null cells indicating that the inhibitory effect of CK2 inhibitors requires the presence of p53. p53 activity was not required because overexpression of a p53 mutated in its DNA-binding domain exerted the same effect as wild-type p53 and because the effect of CK2 inhibitors was still observed when p53 activity was inhibited by pifithrin-α. Since CK2 activity is increased in hypoxic conditions, this process provides one more mechanism to ensure enhanced HIF-1 activity under such conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3351-3362
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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