The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) tumor suppressor protein, a central regulator of cell proliferation and apoptosis, is frequently fused to the retinoic acid receptor-alpha (RARalpha) in acute PML. Here we show the interaction of PML with another tumor suppressor protein, the serine/threonine kinase homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (HIPK2). In response to DNA damage, HIPK2 phosphorylates PML at serines 8 and 38. Although HIPK2-mediated phosphorylation of PML occurs early during the DNA damage response, the oncogenic PML-RARalpha fusion protein is phosphorylated with significantly delayed kinetics. DNA damage or HIPK2 expression leads to the stabilization of PML and PML-RARalpha proteins. The N-terminal phosphorylation sites contribute to the DNA damage-induced PML SUMOylation and are required for the ability of PML to cooperate with HIPK2 for the induction of cell death.
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