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J Biol Chem. 2007 Mar 9;282(10):7482-90. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Thioredoxin 1 and thioredoxin 2 have opposed regulatory functions on hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry I, Faculty of Medicine, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.


Hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a key regulator for adaptation to hypoxia, is composed of HIF-1alpha and HIF-1beta. In this study, we present evidence that overexpression of mitochondria-located thioredoxin 2 (Trx2) attenuated hypoxia-evoked HIF-1alpha accumulation, whereas cytosolic thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) enhanced HIF-1alpha protein amount. Transactivation of HIF-1 is decreased by overexpression of Trx2 but stimulated by Trx1. Inhibition of proteasomal degradation of HIF-1alpha in Trx2-overexpressing cells did not fully restore HIF-1alpha protein levels, while HIF-1alpha accumulation was enhanced in Trx1-overexpressing cells. Reporter assays showed that cap-dependent translation is increased by Trx1 and decreased by Trx2, whereas HIF-1alpha mRNA levels remained unaltered. These data suggest that thioredoxins affect the synthesis of HIF-1alpha. Trx1 facilitated synthesis of HIF-1alpha by activating Akt, p70S6K, and eIF-4E, known to control cap-dependent translation. In contrast, Trx2 attenuated activities of Akt, p70S6K, and eIF-4E and provoked an increase in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production. MitoQ, a mitochondria specific antioxidant, reversed HIF-1alpha accumulation as well as Akt activation under hypoxia in Trx2 cells, supporting the notion of translation control mechanisms in affecting HIF-1alpha protein accumulation.

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