Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 2004 May 5;23(9):1949-56. Epub 2004 Apr 8.

HIF-1alpha induces cell cycle arrest by functionally counteracting Myc.

Author information

Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, NCI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Hypoxia induces angiogenesis and glycolysis for cell growth and survival, and also leads to growth arrest and apoptosis. HIF-1alpha, a basic helix-loop-helix PAS transcription factor, acts as a master regulator of oxygen homeostasis by upregulating various genes under low oxygen tension. Although genetic studies have indicated the requirement of HIF-1alpha for hypoxia-induced growth arrest and activation of p21(cip1), a key cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor controlling cell cycle checkpoint, the mechanism underlying p21(cip1) activation has been elusive. Here we demonstrate that HIF-1alpha, even in the absence of hypoxic signal, induces cell cycle arrest by functionally counteracting Myc, thereby derepressing p21(cip1). The HIF-1alpha antagonism is mediated by displacing Myc binding from p21(cip1) promoter. Neither HIF-1alpha transcriptional activity nor its DNA binding is essential for cell cycle arrest, indicating a divergent role for HIF-1alpha. In keeping with its antagonism of Myc, HIF-1alpha also downregulates Myc-activated genes such as hTERT and BRCA1. Hence, we propose that Myc is an integral part of a novel HIF-1alpha pathway, which regulates a distinct group of Myc target genes in response to hypoxia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center