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Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 21;99(8):1348-56. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604685. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

Hypoxia upregulates expression of human endosialin gene via hypoxia-inducible factor 2.

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Centre of Molecular Medicine, Institute of Virology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, Bratislava 845 05, Slovak Republic.


Endosialin is a transmembrane glycoprotein selectively expressed in blood vessels and stromal fibroblasts of various human tumours. It has been functionally implicated in angiogenesis, but the factors that control its expression have remained unclear. As insufficient delivery of oxygen is a driving force of angiogenesis in growing tumours, we investigated whether hypoxia regulates endosialin expression. Here, we demonstrate that endosialin gene transcription is induced by hypoxia predominantly through a mechanism involving hypoxia-inducible factor-2 (HIF-2) cooperating with the Ets-1 transcription factor. We show that HIF-2 activates the endosialin promoter both directly, through binding to a hypoxia-response element adjacent to an Ets-binding site in the distal part of the upstream regulatory region, and indirectly, through Ets-1 and its two cognate elements in the proximal promoter. Our data also suggest that the SP1 transcription factor mediates responsiveness of the endosialin promoter to high cell density. These findings elucidate important aspects of endosialin gene regulation and provide a rational frame for future investigations towards better understanding of its biological significance.

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