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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2005 Aug-Oct;16(4-5):523-30. Epub 2005 Apr 22.

The HIF pathway in cancer.

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  • 1Renal Section, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.


The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF) is commonly activated in cancer. This has major effects on gene expression, and is important in tumor angiogenesis. Besides being activated by low oxygen, genetic events in cancer contribute to activating HIF. Most striking is that loss of function of the VHL tumour suppressor protein results in constitutive activation of the HIF pathway. An important aim is to define the contribution of HIF activation to the evolution of different cancers, and its potential as a therapeutic target.

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