Huntingtin-interacting protein 1 (HIP1) is a cofactor in clathrin-mediated vesicle trafficking. It was first implicated in cancer biology as part of a chromosomal translocation in leukemia. Here we report that HIP1 is expressed in prostate and colon tumor cells, but not in corresponding benign epithelia. The relationship between HIP1 expression in primary prostate cancer and clinical outcomes was evaluated with tissue microarrays. HIP1 expression was significantly associated with prostate cancer progression and metastasis. Conversely, primary prostate cancers lacking HIP1 expression consistently showed no progression after radical prostatectomy. In addition, the expression of HIP1 was elevated in prostate tumors from the transgenic mouse model of prostate cancer (TRAMP). At the molecular level, expression of a dominant negative mutant of HIP1 led to caspase-9-dependent apoptosis, suggesting that HIP1 is a cellular survival factor. Thus, HIP1 may play a role in tumorigenesis by allowing the survival of precancerous or cancerous cells. HIP1 might accomplish this via regulation of clathrin-mediated trafficking, a fundamental cellular pathway that has not previously been associated with tumorigenesis. HIP1 represents a putative prognostic factor for prostate cancer and a potential therapy target in prostate as well as colon cancers.
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