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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Mar 8;291(4):908-14.

Stabilization of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA by hypoxia-inducible factor 1.

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Genzyme Corporation, 31 New York Avenue, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701, USA.


Hypoxia regulates expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by increasing its transcription and by stabilizing its mRNA. Despite the pivotal role of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) in transcriptional activation of hypoxia-responsive genes, it is not known whether HIF-1 mediates hypoxia-induced stabilization of VEGF mRNA. We constructed adenoviral vectors expressing either the wild-type HIF-1 alpha (Ad2/HIF-1 alpha/FL), a constitutively stable hybrid form of HIF-1 alpha (Ad2/HIF-1 alpha/VP16), or no transgene (Ad2/CMVEV). In rat glioma (C6) cells and human cardiac, vascular smooth muscle, and endothelial cells, infection with Ad2/HIF-1 alpha/VP16 or Ad2/HIF-1 alpha/FL increased VEGF expression at both the mRNA and protein levels. Under normoxic conditions, the half-life of VEGF mRNA was 42 min in C6 cells. Hypoxia and Ad2/HIF-1 alpha/VP16 increased the half-life of VEGF mRNA to 3.3 and 2.7 h, respectively, while Ad2/CMVEV had no effect. These studies are the first to demonstrate that overexpression of HIF-1 alpha increases VEGF mRNA stability. Our results also suggest that stabilization of VEGF mRNA by hypoxia is mediated, at least in part, by HIF-1.

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