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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 Jul;299(1):F1-13. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00174.2010. Epub 2010 May 5.

Hypoxic regulation of erythropoiesis and iron metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


The kidney is a highly sensitive oxygen sensor and plays a central role in mediating the hypoxic induction of red blood cell production. Efforts to understand the molecular basis of oxygen-regulated erythropoiesis have led to the identification of erythropoietin (EPO), which is essential for normal erythropoiesis and to the purification of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), the transcription factor that regulates EPO synthesis and mediates cellular adaptation to hypoxia. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control and integrate cellular and systemic erythropoiesis-promoting hypoxia responses and their potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of renal anemia are discussed in this review.

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