To investigate the mechanism of increased expression of caspase-1 caused by exogenous Hippi, observed earlier in HeLa and Neuro2A cells, in this work we identified a specific motif AAAGACATG (− 101 to − 93) at the caspase-1 gene upstream sequence where HIPPI could bind. Various mutations in this specific sequence compromised the interaction, showing the specificity of the interactions. In the luciferase reporter assay, when the reporter gene was driven by caspase-1 gene upstream sequences (− 151 to − 92) with the mutation G to T at position − 98, luciferase activity was decreased significantly in green fluorescent protein–Hippi-expressing HeLa cells in comparison to that obtained with the wild-type caspase-1 gene 60 bp upstream sequence, indicating the biological significance of such binding. It was observed that the C-terminal ‘pseudo’ death effector domain of HIPPI interacted with the 60 bp (− 151 to − 92) upstream sequence of the caspase-1 gene containing the motif. We further observed that expression of caspase-8 and caspase-10 was increased in green fluorescent protein–Hippi-expressing HeLa cells. In addition, HIPPI interacted in vitro with putative promoter sequences of these genes, containing a similar motif. In summary, we identified a novel function of HIPPI; it binds to specific upstream sequences of the caspase-1, caspase-8 and caspase-10 genes and alters the expression of the genes. This result showed the motif-specific interaction of HIPPI with DNA, and indicates that it could act as transcription regulator.