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Cell Death Differ. 2008 Apr;15(4):621-7. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2008.12. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Biology of HIF-1alpha.

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  • 1Division of Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology Section, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


The increase in body size of humans and other vertebrates requires a physiological infrastructure to provide adequate delivery of oxygen to tissues and cells to maintain oxygen homeostasis. The heart, lungs and the vasculature are all part of a highly regulated system that ensures the distribution of the precise amount of oxygen needed throughout the mammalian organism. Given its fundamental impact on physiology and pathology, it is no surprise that the response of cells to a lack of oxygen, termed hypoxia, has been the focus of many research groups worldwide for many decades now. The transcriptional complex hypoxia-inducible factor has emerged as a key regulator of the molecular hypoxic response, mediating a wide range of physiological and cellular mechanisms necessary to adapt to reduced oxygen.

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