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Trends Biochem Sci. 2008 Nov;33(11):526-34. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2008.08.002. Epub 2008 Sep 21.

HIF-1 regulation: not so easy come, easy go.

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Department of Experimental Therapeutics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is the master regulator of the cellular response to hypoxia and its expression levels are tightly controlled through synthesis and degradation. It is widely accepted that HIF-1alpha protein accumulation during hypoxia results from inhibition of its oxygen-dependent degradation by the von Hippel Lindau protein (pVHL) pathway. However, recent data describe new pVHL- or oxygen-independent mechanisms for HIF-1alpha degradation. Furthermore, the hypoxia-induced increase in HIF-1alpha levels is facilitated by the continued translation of HIF-1alpha during hypoxia despite the global inhibition of protein translation. Recent work has contributed to an increased understanding of the mechanisms that control the translation and degradation of HIF-1alpha under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions.

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