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J Cell Biochem. 2004 Jun 1;92(3):491-501.

Regulation of HIF prolyl hydroxylases by hypoxia-inducible factors.

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Laboratory of Biosystems and Cancer, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Cell Biochem. 2004 Oct 15;93(3):639.


Hypoxia and induction of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha) is a hallmark of many tumors. Under normal oxygen tension HIF-alpha subunits are rapidly degraded through prolyl hydroxylase dependent interaction with the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein, a component of E3 ubuiquitin ligase complex. Using microarray analysis of VHL mutated and re-introduced cells, we found that one of the prolyl hydroxylases (PHD3) is coordinately expressed with known HIF target genes, while the other two family members (PHD1 and 2) did not respond to VHL. We further tested the regulation of these genes by HIF-1 and HIF-2 and found that siRNA targeted degradation of HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha results in decreased hypoxia-induced PHD3 expression. Ectopic overexpression of HIF-2alpha in two different cell lines provided a much better induction of PHD3 gene than HIF-1alpha. In contrast, we demonstrate that PHD2 is not affected by overexpression or downregulation of HIF-2alpha. However, induction of PHD2 by hypoxia has HIF-1-independent and -dependent components. Short-term hypoxia (4 h) results in induction of PHD2 independent of HIF-1, while PHD2 accumulation by prolonged hypoxia (16 h) was decreased by siRNA-mediated degradation of HIF-1alpha subunit. These data further advance our understanding of the differential role of HIF factors and putative feedback loop in HIF regulation.

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