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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Jun 24;273(1):231-8.

The role of ARNT2 in tumor angiogenesis and the neural response to hypoxia.

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Section of Hematology and Oncology, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) activates the transcription of many genes required for cellular and organismal responses to oxygen deprivation. The HIF-1 complex is composed of the ubiquitously expressed basic helix-loop-helix/PAS (bHLH/PAS) proteins HIF-1alpha and Arylhydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator (ARNT). ARNT2 is a conserved ARNT homolog that is highly expressed in neurons, suggesting that ARNT2/HIF-1alpha heterodimers mediate transcriptional responses to oxygen deprivation in the nervous system. We show here that ARNT2 forms functional HIF complexes in vivo, and that ARNT2 restores hypoxia-induced gene expression to ARNT-deficient ES cells and hepatocytes. Formation of neural ARNT2/HIF-1alpha complexes in Arnt(-/-) ES cell-derived teratocarcinomas may explain why these tumors express VEGF, vascularize and grow efficiently, in contrast to ARNT-deficient hepatomas. Interestingly, all neural cell types studied accumulate both ARNT- and ARNT2-containing HIF complexes. We conclude that ARNT2 forms functional HIF complexes in neurons and plays an integral role in hypoxic responses in the CNS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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