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Cancer Res. 2000 Mar 15;60(6):1541-5.

Modulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha expression by the epidermal growth factor/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/PTEN/AKT/FRAP pathway in human prostate cancer cells: implications for tumor angiogenesis and therapeutics.

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  • 1The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.


Dysregulated signal transduction from receptor tyrosine kinases to phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), AKT (protein kinase B), and its effector FKBP-rapamycin-associated protein (FRAP) occurs via autocrine stimulation or inactivation of the tumor suppressor PTEN in many cancers. Here we demonstrate that in human prostate cancer cells, basal-, growth factor-, and mitogen-induced expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) alpha, the regulated subunit of the transcription factor HIF-1, is blocked by LY294002 and rapamycin, inhibitors of PI3K and FRAP, respectively. HIF-1-dependent gene transcription is blocked by dominant-negative AKT or PI3K and by wild-type PTEN, whereas transcription is stimulated by constitutively active AKT or dominant-negative PTEN. LY294002 and rapamycin also inhibit growth factor- and mitogen-induced secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor, the product of a known HIF-1 target gene, thus linking the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/FRAP pathway, HIF-1, and tumor angiogenesis. These data indicate that pharmacological agents that target PI3K, AKT, or FRAP in tumor cells inhibit HIF-1alpha expression and that such inhibition may contribute to therapeutic efficacy.

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