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Blood. 2003 Feb 1;101(3):907-14. Epub 2002 Sep 12.

Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 and hypoxia response elements mediate the induction of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene expression by insulin in primary rat hepatocytes.

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Institut für Biochemie und Molekulare Zellbiologie, Göttingen, Germany.


The expression of the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) gene is enhanced by insulin both in vivo and in various cell types. Because insulin exerts a number of its biologic activities via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase B (PI3K/PKB) signaling pathway, it was the aim of the present study to investigate the role of the PI3K/PKB pathway in the expression of the PAI-1 gene and to identify the insulin responsive promoter sequences. It was shown that the induction of PAI-1 mRNA and protein expression by insulin and mild hypoxia could be repressed by the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin. Overexpression of a constitutively active PKB led to induction of PAI-1 mRNA expression and of luciferase (Luc) activity from a gene construct containing 766 bp of the rat PAI-1 promoter. Mutation of the hypoxia response elements (HRE-1 and HRE-2) in rat PAI-1 promoter, which could bind hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), abolished the induction of PAI-1 by insulin and PKB. Insulin and the constitutive active PKB also induced Luc expression in cells transfected with the pGl3EPO-HRE Luc construct, containing 3 copies of the HRE from the erythropoietin gene in front of the SV40 promoter. Furthermore, insulin and the active PKB enhanced all 3 HIF alpha-subunit protein levels and HIF-1 DNA-binding activity, as shown by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs). Thus, the insulin-dependent activation of the PAI-1 gene expression can be mediated via the PI3K/PKB pathway and the transcription factor HIF-1 binding to the HREs in the PAI-1 gene promoter.

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