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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Apr 28;343(1):8-14. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Desferrioxamine, an iron chelator, enhances HIF-1alpha accumulation via cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway.

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Department of Immunology and Chronic Disease Research Center and Institute for Medical Science, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, 194 DongSan-Dong Jung-Gu, Taegu 700-712, South Korea.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an important inducible enzyme in inflammation and is overexpressed in a variety of cancers. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that chronic inflammation may contribute to carcinogenesis through increase of cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and metastasis in a number of neoplasms, including colorectal carcinoma. In the present study, we investigated some mechanistic aspects of DFX-induced hypoxia-driven COX-2 expression. Desferrioxamine (DFX), an iron chelator, is known to upregulate inflammatory mediators. DFX induced the expression of COX-2 and accumulation of HIF-1alpha protein in dose-dependent manners, but hypoxia mimetic agent cobalt chloride (CoCl2) induced accumulation of HIF-1alpha protein but not increase of COX-2 expression. DFX-induced increase of COX-2 expression and HIF-1alpha protein level was attenuated by addition of ferric citrate. This result suggested that the iron chelating function of DFX was important to induce the increase of COX-2 and HIF-1alpha protein. PD98059 significantly inhibited the induction of COX-2 protein and accumulation of HIF-1alpha, suggesting that DFX-induced increase of HIF-1alpha and COX-2 protein was mediated, at least in part, through the ERK signaling pathway. In addition, pretreatment with NS-398 to inhibit COX-2 activity also effectively suppressed DFX-induced HIF-1alpha accumulation in human colon cancer cells, providing the evidence that COX-2 plays as a regulator of HIF-1alpha accumulation in DFX-treated colon cancer cells. Together, our findings suggest that iron metabolism may regulate stabilization of HIF-1alpha protein by modulating cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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