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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 17;106(11):4260-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810067106. Epub 2009 Mar 2.

Integrative analysis of HIF binding and transactivation reveals its role in maintaining histone methylation homeostasis.

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Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Adaptation to hypoxia is mediated through a coordinated transcriptional response driven largely by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). We used ChIP-chip and gene expression profiling to identify direct targets of HIF-1 transactivation on a genome-wide scale. Several hundred direct HIF-1 targets were identified and, as expected, were highly enriched for proteins that facilitate metabolic adaptation to hypoxia. Surprisingly, there was also striking enrichment for the family of 2-oxoglutarate dioxygenases, including the jumonji-domain histone demethylases. We demonstrate that these histone demethylases are direct HIF targets, and their up-regulation helps maintain epigenetic homeostasis under hypoxic conditions. These results suggest that the coordinated increase in expression of several oxygen-dependent enzymes by HIF may help compensate for decreased levels of oxygen under conditions of cellular hypoxia.

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