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Blood Purif. 2002;20(5):445-50.

From erythropoietin to oxygen: hypoxia-inducible factor hydroxylases and the hypoxia signal pathway.

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Renal and Cell Physiology Group, The Henry Wellcome Building of Genomic Medicine, University of Oxford, UK.


The regulation of blood red cell production by the hormone erythropoietin (Epo) provides a paradigm for control of gene expression by oxygen. Analysis of this pathway has revealed a widespread system of gene regulation based on a transcriptional complex termed hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). Hydroxylation of specific prolyl and asparinyl residues in the alpha subunit of HIF by a series of non-haem iron-dependent dioxygenases has been defined as a novel mechanism of protein modification that transduces the oxygen-sensitive signal.

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