Neovascularization (angiogenesis) is a multistep process, controlled by opposing regulatory factors, which plays a crucial role in several ocular diseases. It often results in vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, neovascularization glaucoma and subsequent vision loss. Hypoxia is considered to be one of the key factors to trigger angiogenesis by inducing angiogenic factors (like VEGF) and their receptors mediated by hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1α) a critical transcriptional factor. Another factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) also regulates many of the genes required for neovascularization, and can also be activated by hypoxia. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanism of interaction between HRPC and HUVEC that modulates a neovascularization response.
Human retinal progenitor cells (HRPC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were cultured/co-cultured under normoxia (control) (20% O2) or hypoxia (1% O2) condition for 24 hr. Controls were monolayer cultures of each cell type maintained alone. We examined the secretion of VEGF by ELISA and influence of conditioned media on blood vessel growth (capillary-like structures) via an angiogenesis assay. Total RNA and protein were extracted from the HRPC and HUVEC (cultured and co-cultured) and analyzed for the expression of VEGF, VEGFR-2, NFκB and HIF-1α by RT-PCR and Western blotting. The cellular localization of NFκB and HIF-1α were studied by immunofluorescence and Western blotting.
We found that hypoxia increased exogenous VEGF expression 4-fold in HRPC with a further 2-fold increase when cultured with HUVEC. Additionally, we found that hypoxia induced the expression of the VEGF receptor (VEGFR-2) for HRPC co-cultured with HUVEC. Hypoxia treatment significantly enhanced (8- to 10-fold higher than normoxia controls) VEGF secretion into media whether cells were cultured alone or in a co-culture. Also, hypoxia was found to result in a 3- and 2-fold increase in NFκB and HIF-1α mRNA expression by HRPC and a 4- and 6-fold increase in NFκB and HIF-1α protein by co-cultures, whether non-contacting or contacting.
Treatment of HRPC cells with hypoxic HUVEC-CM activated and promoted the translocation of NFκB and HIF-1α to the nuclear compartment. This finding was subsequently confirmed by finding that hypoxic HUVEC-CM resulted in higher expression of NFκB and HIF-1α in the nuclear fraction of HRPC and corresponding decrease in cytoplasmic NFκB and HIF-1α. Lastly, hypoxic conditioned media induced a greater formation of capillary-like structures (angiogenic response) compared to control conditioned media. This effect was attenuated by exogenous anti-human VEGF antibody, suggesting that VEGF was the primary factor in the hypoxic conditioned media responsible for the angiogenic response.
These findings suggest that intercellular communications between HRPC and HUVEC lead to the modulation of expression of transcription factors associated with the production of pro-angiogenic factors under hypoxic conditions, which are necessary for an enhanced neovascular response. Our data suggest that the hypoxia treatment results in the up-regulation of both mRNA and protein expression for VEGF and VEGFR-2 through the translocation of NFκB and HIF-1α into the nucleus, and results in enhanced HRPC-induced neovascularization. Hence, a better understanding of the underlying mechanism for these interactions might open perspectives for future retinal neovascularization therapy.
Neovascularization; Human retinal progenitor cells (HRPC); Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC); Hypoxia, Vascular endothelial growth factor; Conditioned medium; Co-culture
We characterized the effect of chronic ochratoxin A (OTA) on rat kidney cortex, analyzing collagen content and collagen turnover and the major markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), such as α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA), cadherins, and MMP-9. Because OTA nephrotoxicity is mediated by free radicals, we also investigated whether antioxidants in red wine provided protection for the kidney and attenuated OTA-induced EMT. Collagen content, determined by computerized analysis of Sirius red–stained kidney sections, increased in OTA, OTA-wine, and OTA-EtOH treated rats. In kidney cortex homogenates, COL-I and COL-III mRNA levels tended to rise in OTA treated rats, but were similar to CT after OTA-wine and OTA-EtOH administration. TIMP-1 gene expression was up-regulated in OTA, OTA-wine, and OTA-EtOH treated rats. LH2b mRNA/COL-I mRNA was significantly up-regulated in OTA-wine and OTA-EtOH treated rats, compared with CT and OTA alone. TGF-β1 signaling tended to dominate after OTA, OTA-wine, and OTA-EtOH. MMP-1 protein levels were not affected. OTA induced proMMP-9 and αSMA overexpression, decreases of E-cadherin and N-cadherin, and DSC-2 up-regulation. OTA-wine caused a further, unexpected decrease of E- and N-cadherins and further up-regulation of OTA-induced DSC-2, while strongly reducing the OTA-induced increases of αSMA and proMMP-9. Posttranslational collagen modifications, such as decreased collagen degradation through MMP inhibition and increased collagen cross-links, seem to be key mechanisms leading to OTA-induced kidney cortex fibrosis. This mechanism was not affected by red wine in these conditions. Red wine seems to have some protective role against OTA-induced EMT, although without completely blocking the process and determining a condition in which abundant cells display an intermediate translational phenotype, but there are no αSMA or epithelial markers.
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a heterodimeric basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor composed of HIF-1α and HIF-1β that is the central regulator of responses to hypoxia. The specific binding of HIF-1 to the hypoxia-responsive element (HRE) induces the transcription of genes that respond to hypoxic conditions, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Here we report that expression of HIF-1α is increased in diverse Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected type II and III cell lines, which express EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), the principal EBV oncoprotein, as well as other latency proteins, but not in the parental EBV-negative cell lines. We show first that transfection of an LMP1 expression plasmid into Ad-AH cells, an EBV-negative nasopharyngeal epithelial cell line, induces synthesis of HIF-1α protein without increasing its stability or mRNA level. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase inhibitor PD98059 markedly reduces induction of HIF-1α by LMP1. Catalase, an H2O2 scavenger, strongly suppresses LMP1-induced production of H2O2, which results in a decrease in the expression of HIF-1α induced by LMP1. Inhibition of the NF-κB, c-jun N-terminal kinase, p38 MAPK, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathways did not affect HIF-1α expression. Moreover, LMP1 induces HIF-1 DNA binding activity and upregulates HRE and VEGF promoter transcriptional activity. Finally, LMP1 increases the appearance of VEGF protein in extracellular fluids; induction of VEGF is suppressed by PD98059 or catalase. These results suggest that LMP1 increases HIF-1 activity through induction of HIF-1α protein expression, which is controlled by p42/p44 MAPK activity and H2O2. The ability of EBV, and specifically its major oncoprotein, LMP1, to induce HIF-1α along with other invasiveness and angiogenic factors reported previously discloses additional oncogenic properties of this tumor virus.
Hypoxia‐inducible factor (HIF) is a common transcription factor for many angiogenic proteins. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are an important source of angiogenic factors in the retina. The expression of HIF, its regulation by proline hydroxylase (PHD) enzymes, and its downstream regulation of angiogenic factors like vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and erythropoietin (EPO) was studied in RPE cells in order to determine some of the molecular mechanisms underlying ischaemic retinal disease.
ARPE‐19 cells were cultured for various times under hypoxic conditions. Cellular HIF and PHD isoforms were analysed and quantified using western blot and densitometry. VEGF and EPO secreted into the media were assayed using enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Messenger RNA (mRNA) was quantified using real‐time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). RNA interference was achieved using siRNA techniques.
HIF‐1α was readily produced by ARPE‐19 cells under hypoxia, but HIF‐2α and HIF‐3α could not be detected even after HIF‐1α silencing. HIF‐1α protein levels showed an increasing trend for the first 24 h while HIF‐1α mRNA levels fluctuated during this time. After 36 h HIF‐1α protein levels declined to baseline levels, a change that was coincident with a rise in both PHD2 and PHD3. Silencing HIF‐1α significantly decreased VEGF secretion. Significant production of EPO could not be detected at the protein or mRNA level.
HIF‐1α appears to be the main isoform of HIF functioning in ARPE‐19 cells. Under hypoxia, HIF‐1α levels are likely self‐regulated by a feedback loop that involves both transcriptional and post‐translational mechanisms. VEGF production by human RPE cells is regulated by HIF‐1α. EPO was not produced in significant amounts by RPE cells under hypoxic conditions, suggesting that other cells and/or transcription factors in the retina are responsible for its production.
diabetic retinopathy; VEGF; erythropoietin; hypoxia‐inducible factor; proline hydroxylase
Hypoxia and T-helper cell 1 (Th1) cytokine-driven inflammation are key features of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and contribute to disease pathogenesis by promoting angiogenesis. The objective of our study was to characterise the angiogenic gene signature of RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) in response to hypoxia, as well as Th1 and T-helper cell 2 (Th2) cytokines, and in particular to dissect out effects of combined hypoxia and cytokines on hypoxia inducible transcription factors (HIFs) and angiogenesis.
Human angiogenesis PCR arrays were used to screen cDNA from RA FLS exposed to hypoxia (1% oxygen) or dimethyloxalylglycine, which stabilises HIFs. The involvement of HIF isoforms in generating the angiogenic signature of RA FLS stimulated with hypoxia and/or cytokines was investigated using a DNA-binding assay and RNA interference. The angiogenic potential of conditioned media from hypoxia-treated and/or cytokine-treated RA FLS was measured using an in vitro endothelial-based assay.
Expression of 12 angiogenic genes was significantly altered in RA FLS exposed to hypoxia, and seven of these were changed by dimethyloxalylglycine, including ephrin A3 (EFNA3), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), adipokines angiopoietin-like (ANGPTL)-4 and leptin. These four proangiogenic genes were dependent on HIF-1 in hypoxia to various degrees: EFNA3 >ANGPTL-4 >VEGF >leptin. The Th1 cytokines TNFα and IL-1β induced HIF-1 but not HIF-2 transcription as well as activity, and this effect was additive with hypoxia. In contrast, Th2 cytokines had no effect on HIFs. IL-1β synergised with hypoxia to upregulate EFNA3 and VEGF in a HIF-1-dependent fashion but, despite strongly inducing HIF-1, TNFα suppressed adipokine expression and had minimal effect on EFNA3. Supernatants from RA FLS subjected to hypoxia and TNFα induced fewer endothelial tubules than those from FLS subjected to TNFα or hypoxia alone, despite high VEGF protein levels. The Th2 cytokine IL-4 strongly induced ANGPTL-4 and angiogenesis by normoxic FLS and synergised with hypoxia to induce further proangiogenic activity.
The present work demonstrates that Th1 cytokines in combination with hypoxia are not sufficient to induce angiogenic activity by RA FLS despite HIF-1 activation and VEGF production. In contrast, Th2 cytokines induce angiogenic activity in normoxia and hypoxia, despite their inability to activate HIFs, highlighting the complex relationships between hypoxia, angiogenesis and inflammation in RA.
New therapies are necessary to address inadequate asthma control in many patients. This study set out to investigate whether Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) is essential for development of allergic airway inflammation (AAI) and therefore a potential novel target for asthma treatment.
Mice conditionally knocked out for HIF-1β were examined for their ability to mount an allergic inflammatory response in the lung after intratracheal exposure to ovalbumin. The effects of treating wild-type mice with either ethyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (EDHB) or 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME), which upregulate and downregulate HIF, respectively, were determined. HIF-1α levels were also measured in endobronchial biopsies and bronchial fluid of asthma patients and nasal fluid of rhinitis patients after challenge.
Deletion of HIF-1β resulted in diminished AAI and diminished production of ovalbumin-specific IgE and IgG1. EDHB enhanced the inflammatory response, which was muted upon simultaneous inhibition of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). EDHB and 2ME antagonized each other with regard to their effects on airway inflammation and mucus production. The levels of HIF-1α and VEGF increased in lung tissue and bronchial fluid of asthma patients and in the nasal fluid of rhinitis patients after challenge.
Our results support the notion that HIF is directly involved in the development of AAI. Most importantly, we demonstrate for the first time that HIF-1α is increased after challenge in asthma and rhinitis patients. Therefore we propose that HIF may be a potential therapeutic target for asthma and possibly for other inflammatory diseases.
Allergic Airway Inflammation; Asthma; Hypoxia Inducible Factor; Rhinitis
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1) is the key transcription regulator for multiple angiogenic factors and is an appealing target. Ginsenoside-Rg1, a nontoxic saponin isolated from the rhizome of Panax ginseng, exhibits potent proangiogenic activity and has the potential to be developed as a new angiotherapeutic agent. However, the mechanisms by which Rg1 promotes angiogenesis are not fully understood. Here, we show that Rg1 is an effective stimulator of HIF-1α under normal cellular oxygen conditions in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. HIF-1α steady-state mRNA was not affected by Rg1. Rather, HIF-1α protein synthesis was stimulated by Rg1. This effect was associated with constitutive activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and its effector p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K), but not extracellular-signal regulated kinase 1/2. We further revealed that HIF-1α induction triggered the expression of target genes, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The use of small molecule inhibitors LY294002 or rapamycin to inhibit PI3K/Akt and p70S6K activities, respectively, resulted in diminished HIF-1α activation and subsequent VEGF expression. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of HIF-1α suppressed Rg1-induced VEGF synthesis and angiogenic tube formation, confirming that the effect was HIF-1α specific. Similarly, the angiogenic phenotype could be reversed by inhibition of PI3K/Akt and p70S6K. These results define a hypoxia-independent activation of HIF-1α, uncovering a novel mechanism for Rg1 that could play a major role in angiogenesis and vascular remodeling.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-011-9235-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Ginsenoside; PI3K/Akt; Angiogenesis; HIF-1α; Signaling
Inappropriate contact lens (CL) use and care often lead to corneal neovascularization (corneal NV). We used mouse eyes which wore CL as the animal model to assess the reason for corneal NV with CL wear. The similar and overlapping activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the potent angiogenic hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) called for a study of the temporal relationship in the expression of these two autocoids. We determined the time dependent expression of HIF-1α and correlated it to that of VEGF expression in the mouse model of closed eye with CL wear.
Mouse eyes were fitted with CL followed by a silk suture tarsorrhaphy. The anterior surface was analyzed at 4, 7, and 10 days after tarsorrhaphy by slit lamp and corneal NV. HIF-1α and VEGF levels were measured by reverse transcription PCR, western blotting and immunofluorescence with specific primers and antibodies. We used shRNA targeting HIF-1α to substantiate the link between HIF-1α, VEGF expression, and angiogenesis in the CL wear model.
Corneal NV scores increased in a time dependent manner in the model of closed eye CL induced hypoxic injury. Corneal epithelial HIF-1α and VEGF expression increased in a time dependent manner. The prolonged hypoxic state brought by closed eye CL wear induced a time dependent neovascular response which was significantly attenuated by HIF-1α specific shRNA but not by nonspecific shRNA. Both HIF-1α and VEGF levels were reduced significantly in corneal homogenates from eyes treated with the HIF-1α specific shRNA.
The present study documented the increased expression of HIF-1α in the corneal epithelium during CL wear. It also demonstrated the presence of VEGF in the corneal epithelium and its increased expression in this model. Altogether, the results of this study raised the possibility of interaction between HIF-1α and VEGF, in mediating the neovascularization response induced by the prolonged hypoxic state brought about by closed eye CL wear. The results strongly implicated corneal HIF-1α as a component of the inflammatory and neovascular cascade initiated by hypoxic and further suggested that HIF-1α was a proximal regulator of VEGF expression in this model.
Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that is essential for cell survival and tissue homeostasis. However, limited information is available about autophagy in aristolochic acid (AA) nephropathy. In this study, we investigated the role of autophagy and related signaling pathway during progression of AAI-induced injury to renal tubular epithelial cells (NRK52E cells). The results showed that autophagy in NRK52E cells was detected as early as 3–6 hrs after low dose of AAI (10 µM) exposure as indicated by an up-regulated expression of LC3-II and Beclin 1 proteins. The appearance of AAI-induced punctated staining of autophagosome-associated LC3-II upon GFP-LC3 transfection in NRK52E cells provided further evidence for autophagy. However, cell apoptosis was not detected until 12 hrs after AAI treatment. Blockade of autophagy with Wortmannin or 3-Methyladenine (two inhibitors of phosphoinositede 3-kinases) or small-interfering RNA knockdown of Beclin 1 or Atg7 sensitized the tubular cells to apoptosis. Treatment of NRK52E cells with AAI caused a time-dependent increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) activity, but not c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38. Pharmacological inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation with U0126 resulted in a decreased AAI-induced autophagy that was accompanied by an increased apoptosis. Taken together, our study demonstrated for the first time that autophagy occurred earlier than apoptosis during AAI-induced tubular epithelial cell injury. Autophagy induced by AAI via ERK1/2 pathway might attenuate apoptosis, which may provide a protective mechanism for cell survival under AAI-induced pathological condition.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is characterised by hypoxia, which activates gene transcription through hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF), as well as by expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and EGF receptors, targeting of which has been demonstrated to provide therapeutic benefit in CRC. Although EGF has been demonstrated to induce expression of angiogenic mediators, potential interactions in CRC between EGF-mediated signalling and the hypoxia/HIF pathway remain uncharacterised.
PCR-based profiling was applied to identify angiogenic genes in Caco-2 CRC cells regulated by hypoxia, the hypoxia mimetic dimethyloxallylglycine (DMOG) and/or EGF. Western blotting was used to determine the role of HIF-1alpha, HIF-2alpha and MAPK cell signalling in mediating the angiogenic responses.
We identified a total of 9 angiogenic genes, including angiopoietin-like (ANGPTL) 4, ephrin (EFNA) 3, transforming growth factor (TGF) β1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), to be upregulated in a HIF dependent manner in Caco-2 CRC cells in response to both hypoxia and the hypoxia mimetic dimethyloxallylglycine (DMOG). Stimulation with EGF resulted in EGFR tyrosine autophosphorylation, activation of p42/p44 MAP kinases and stabilisation of HIF-1α and HIF-2α proteins. However, expression of 84 angiogenic genes remained unchanged in response to EGF alone. Crucially, addition of DMOG in combination with EGF significantly increased expression of a further 11 genes (in addition to the 9 genes upregulated in response to either DMOG alone or hypoxia alone). These additional genes included chemokines (CCL-11/eotaxin-1 and interleukin-8), collagen type IV α3 chain, integrin β3 chain, TGFα and VEGF receptor KDR.
These findings suggest that although EGFR phosphorylation activates the MAP kinase signalling and promotes HIF stabilisation in CRC, this alone is not sufficient to induce angiogenic gene expression. In contrast, HIF activation downstream of hypoxia/DMOG drives expression of genes such as ANGPTL4, EFNA3, TGFβ1 and VEGF. Finally, HIF activation synergises with EGF-mediated signalling to additionally induce a unique sub-group of candidate angiogenic genes. Our data highlight the complex interrelationship between tumour hypoxia, EGF and angiogenesis in the pathogenesis of CRC.
Colorectal cancer; Angiogenesis; Hypoxia; EGF
Disulfiram is an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor that was used to treat alcoholism and showed anticancer activity, but its anticancer mechanism remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of disulfiram on the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-driven tumor adaptation to hypoxia in vitro.
Hep3B, Huh7 and HepG2 hepatoma cells were incubated under normoxic (20% O2) or hypoxic (1% O2) conditions for 16 h. The expression and activity of HIF-1α and HIF-2α proteins were evaluated using immunoblotting and luciferase reporter assay, respectively. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was used to analyze HIF-mediated gene expression. Endothelial tubule formation assay was used to evaluate the anti-angiogenic effect.
Hypoxia caused marked expression of HIF-1α and HIF-1α in the 3 hepatoma cell lines, dramatically increased HIF activity and induced the expression of HIF downstream genes (EPO, CA9, VEGF-A and PDK1) in Hep3B cells. HIF-2α expression was positively correlated with the induction of hypoxic genes (CA9, VEGF-A and PDK1). Moreover, hypoxia markedly increased VEGF production and angiogenic potential of Hep3B cells. Disulfiram (0.3 to 2 μmol/L) inhibited hypoxia-induced gene expression and HIF activity in a dose-dependent manner. Disulfiram more effectively suppressed the viability of Hep3B cells under hypoxia, but it did not affect the cell cycle. Overexpression of HIF-2α in Hep3B cells reversed the inhibitory effects of disulfiram on hypoxia-induced gene expression and cell survival under hypoxia.
Disulfiram deregulates the HIF-mediated hypoxic signaling pathway in hepatoma cells, which may contribute to its anticancer effect. Thus, disulfiram could be used to treat solid tumors that grow in a HIF-dependent manner.
disulfiram; hepatoma; hypoxia; HIF-2; VEGF; angiogenesis
Macrophages expressing the pro-angiogenic transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1alpha have been demonstrated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the synovial tissue. Aim of the present study was to investigate intracellular signal transduction regulation of pro-inflammatory HIF-1 alpha expression in macrophages to identify possible new intervention strategies. We investigated the effects of CaMKII-inhibitors amongst other kinase inhibitors, on HIF-1 alpha expression and downstream production of pro-angiogenic factors in macrophages.
Differentiated THP-1 cells and synovial fluid (SF) macrophages were stimulated with 1 μg/ml LPS with or without pretreatment with specific inhibitors of the ERK pathway (PD98059), the PI3K pathway (LY294002), and the CaMKII pathway (KN93 and SMP-114). mRNA and protein expression of HIF-1 alpha, VEGF, MMP-9, and IL-8 was measured in cell lysates and cell supernatants.
HIF-1 alpha protein expression in LPS-stimulated THP-1 macrophages could be blocked by ERK- and PI3K-inhibitors, but also by the CaMKII inhibitor KN93. THP-1 and SF macrophages produced high levels of VEGF, IL-8, and MMP-9, and VEGF protein production was significantly inhibited by PI3K-inhibitor, and by both CaMKII inhibitors. LPS stimulation in an hypoxic environment did not change VEGF levels, suggesting that LPS induced VEGF production in macrophages is more important than the hypoxic induction.
Expression of HIF-1 alpha and downstream effects in macrophages are regulated by ERK-, PI3K, but also by CaMKII pathways. Inhibition of HIF-1α protein expression and significant inhibition of VEGF production in macrophages was found using CaMKII inhibitors. This is an unknown but very interesting effect of the CaMKII inhibitor SMP-114, which has been in clinical trial as DMARD for the treatment of RA. This effect may contribute to the anti-arthritic effects of SMP-114.
Hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is a proangiogenic transcription factor stabilized and activated under hypoxia. It regulates the expression of numerous target genes, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and other cytoprotective proteins. In this study, we hypothesized that bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) secrete growth factors which protect cardiomyocytes via HIF-1α pathway.
BMSCs were obtained from transgenic mice overexpressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). The study was carried out in vitro using co-culture of BMSCs with cardiomyocytes. LDH release, MTT uptake, DNA fragmentation and annexin-V positive cells were used as cell injury markers. The level of HIF-1α protein as well as its activated form and VEGF were measured by ELISA. The expression of HIF-1α and VEGF in BMSCs were analyzed by quantitative PCR and cellular localization was determined by immunohistochemistry.
LDH release was increased and MTT uptake was decreased after exposure of cardiomyocytes to hypoxia for 24 hours, which were prevented by co-culturing cardiomyocytes with BMSCs. Cardiomyocyte apoptosis induced by hypoxia and H2O2 was also reduced by co-culture with BMSCs. VEGF release from BMSCs was significantly increased in parallel with high level of HIF-1α in BMSCs following anoxia or hypoxia in time-dependent manner. Although no significant up-regulation could be seen in HIF-1α mRNA, HIF-1α protein and its activated form were markedly increased and translocated to the nucleus or peri-nuclear area. The increase and translocation of HIF-1α in BMSCs were completely blocked by 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME2; 5μmol), a HIF-1α inhibitor. Moreover, the protection of cardiomyocytes by BMSC and VEGF secretion were abolished by neutralizing HIF-1α antibodies in a concentration dependent manner (200~ 3200ng/ml).
Bone marrow stem cells protect cardiomyocytes by up-regulation of VEGF via activating HIF-1α.
bone marrow stem cells; HIF-1α; VEGF; cardiomyocytes; hypoxia; HIF-1α neutralizing antibody
Burn-induced gut dysfunction plays an important role in the development of sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction. Emerging evidence suggests that hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is critical in paracelluar barrier functions via regulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) expression. Previous studies have also demonstrated that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) can repress HIF-1α. This study aims to examine whether valproic acid (VPA), a HDACI, protects against burn-induced gut barrier dysfunction via repressing HIF-1α-dependent upregulation of VEGF and MLCK expression.
Rats were subjected to third degree 55% TBSA burns and treated with/ without VPA (300mg/kg). Intestinal barrier dysfunction was evaluated by permeability of intestinal mucosa to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran and histologic evaluation. Histone acetylation, tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO-1), VEGF, MLCK and HIF-1α were measured. In addition, CaCO2 cells were transfected with siRNA directed against HIF-1α and were stimulated with CoCl2 (1mM) for 24 hours with/without VPA (2mM) followed by analysis of HIF-1α, MLCK, VEGF and ZO-1.
Burn insults resulted in a significant increase in intestinal permeability and mucosal damage, accompanied by a significant reduction in histone acetylation, ZO-1, upregulation of VEGF, MLCK expression, and an increase in HIF-1α accumulation. VPA significantly attenuated the increase in intestinal permeability, mucosa damage, histone deacetylation and changes in ZO-1 expression. VPA also attenuated the increased VEGF, MLCK and HIF-1α protein levels. VPA reduced HIF-1α, MLCK and VEGF production and prevented ZO-1 loss in CoCl2-stimulated Caco-2 cells. Moreover, transfection of siRNA directed against HIF-1α led to inhibition of MLCK and VEGF production, accompanied by upregulation of ZO-1.
These results indicate that VPA can protect against burn-induced gut barrier dysfunction. These protective effects may be due to its inhibitory action on HIF-1α, leading to a reduction in intestinal VEGF and MLCK expression and minimizing ZO-1 degradation.
Hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is responsible for the majority of HIF-1-induced gene expression changes under hypoxia and for the “angiogenic switch” during tumor progression. HIF-1α is often upregulated in tumors leading to more aggressive tumor growth and chemoresistance, therefore representing an important target for antitumor intervention. We previously reported that zinc downregulated HIF-1α levels. Here, we evaluated the molecular mechanisms of zinc-induced HIF-1α downregulation and whether zinc affected HIF-1α also in vivo.
Here we report that zinc downregulated HIF-1α protein levels in human prostate cancer and glioblastoma cells under hypoxia, whether induced or constitutive. Investigations into the molecular mechanisms showed that zinc induced HIF-1α proteasomal degradation that was prevented by treatment with proteasomal inhibitor MG132. HIF-1α downregulation induced by zinc was ineffective in human RCC4 VHL-null renal carcinoma cell line; likewise, the HIF-1αP402/P564A mutant was resistant to zinc treatment. Similarly to HIF-1α, zinc downregulated also hypoxia-induced HIF-2α whereas the HIF-1β subunit remained unchanged. Zinc inhibited HIF-1α recruitment onto VEGF promoter and the zinc-induced suppression of HIF-1-dependent activation of VEGF correlated with reduction of glioblastoma and prostate cancer cell invasiveness in vitro. Finally, zinc administration downregulated HIF-1α levels in vivo, by bioluminescence imaging, and suppressed intratumoral VEGF expression.
These findings, by demonstrating that zinc induces HIF-1α proteasomal degradation, indicate that zinc could be useful as an inhibitor of HIF-1α in human tumors to repress important pathways involved in tumor progression, such as those induced by VEGF, MDR1, and Bcl2 target genes, and hopefully potentiate the anticancer therapies.
One of the major angiogenic factor released by tumor cells is VEGF. Its high expression is correlated with poor prognosis in colorectal tumors. In colon cancer, gastrin gene expression is also upregulated. In these tumors, gastrin precursors are mainly produced and act as growth factors. Recently, a study has also shown that the gastrin precursor, G-gly induced in vitro tubules formation by vascular endothelial cells suggesting a potential proangiogenic role. Here, we demonstrate that stimulation of human colorectal cancer cell lines with G-gly increases the expression of the proangiogenic factor VEGF at the mRNA and protein levels. In addition, blocking the progastrin autocrine loop leads to a downregulation of VEGF. Although HIF-1 is a major transcriptional activator for VEGF our results suggest an alternative mechanism for VEGF regulation in normoxic conditions, independent of HIF-1 that involves the PI3K/AKT pathway. Indeed we show that G-gly does not lead to HIF-1 accumulation in colon cancer cells. Moreover, we found that G-gly activates the PI3K/AKT pathway and inhibition of this pathway reverses the effects of G-gly observed on VEGF mRNA and protein levels. In correlation with these results, we observed in vivo, on colon tissue sections from transgenic mice overexpressing G-gly, an increase in VEGF expression in absence of HIF-1 accumulation. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that gastrin precursors, known to promote colon epithelial cells proliferation and survival can also contribute to the angiogenesis process by stimulating the expression of the proangiogenic factor VEGF via the PI3K pathway and independently of hypoxia conditions.
colon cancer; gastrin; intracellular signaling; VEGF
Aims: Integrins are multifunctional heterodimeric adhesion receptors that mediate the attachment between a cell and the extracellular matrix or other surrounding cells. In endothelial cells, integrins can modulate cell migration and motility. In particular, β3-integrin is expressed in angiogenic vessels. Signal transduction by β3-integrins requires the recruitment of intracellular signaling molecules. β3-endonexin is a highly spliced molecule that has been identified as a β3-integrin binding protein. β3-endonexin isoforms are expressed in endothelial cells and have been suggested to act as shuttle proteins between the membrane and the nucleus. However, their functional role in angiogenesis is unclear. In this study, we investigated whether β3-endonexin isoforms are involved in endothelial angiogenic processes under hypoxia. Results: The overexpression of β3-endonexin isoforms decreased endothelial proliferation and tube formation under hypoxia, while the depletion of β3-endonexin by RNAi promoted angiogenic responses in vitro and in vivo. In hypoxia, β3-endonexin accumulated in the nucleus, and prevention of this response by depletion of β3-endonexin increased hypoxic activation and induction of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 and its target genes VEGF and PAI-1. β3-endonexin diminished nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) activation and decreased NFκB binding to the HIF-1α promoter under hypoxia, subsequently diminishing NFκB-dependent transcription of HIF-1α under hypoxia. Innovation: Our results indicate for the first time that the overexpression of β3-endonexin can decrease hypoxic induction and activation of HIF-1α and can prevent hypoxic endothelial proliferation and angiogenic responses. Conclusion: β3-endonexin can act as a novel anti-angiogenic factor specifically in the response to hypoxia due to its negative impact on the activation of HIF-1. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 1964–1976.
Hypoxia preconditioning protects corneal stromal cells from stress-induced death. This study determined whether the transcription factor HIF-1α (Hypoxia Inducible Factor) is responsible and whether this is promulgated by VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor).
Cultured bovine stromal cells were preconditioned with hypoxia in the presence of cadmium chloride, a chemical inhibitor of HIF-1α, and HIF-1α siRNA to test if HIF-1α activity is needed for hypoxia preconditioning protection from UV-irradiation induced cell death. TUNEL assay was used to detect cell apoptosis after UV-irradiation. RT-PCR and western blot were used to detect the presence of HIF-1α and VEGF in transcriptional and translational levels.
During hypoxia (0.5% O2), 5 μM cadmium chloride completely inhibited HIF-1α expression and reversed the protection by hypoxia preconditioning. HIF-1α siRNA (15 nM) reduced HIF-1α expression by 90% and produced a complete loss of protection provided by hypoxia preconditioning. Since VEGF is induced by hypoxia, can be HIF-1α dependent, and is often protective, we examined the changes in transcription of VEGF and its receptors after 4 h of hypoxia preconditioning. VEGF and its receptors Flt-1 and Flk-1 are up-regulated after hypoxia preconditioning. However, the transcription and translation of VEGF were paradoxically increased by siHIF-1α, suggesting that VEGF expression in stromal cells is not down-stream of HIF-1α.
These findings demonstrate that hypoxia preconditioning protection in corneal stromal cells requires HIF-1α, but that VEGF is not a component of the protection.
As in many other types of cells, retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells have an active ubiquitin—proteasome pathway (UPP). However, the function of the UPP in RPE remains to be elucidated. The objective of this study is to determine the role of the UPP in controlling the levels and activities of transcription factors hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and NF-κB. We inhibited the UPP with proteasome-specific inhibitors and determined the activation of HIF and NF-κB as well as the expression and secretion of pro-angiogenic factors. HIF-1α was not detectable in ARPE-19 cells under normal culture conditions. However, when proteasome activity was inhibited, HIF-1α accumulated in RPE in a time-dependent manner. Consistent with accumulation of HIF-1α in the cells, levels of mRNA for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) in RPE were up to 7-fold higher upon inhibition of the proteasome. Proteasome inhibition was also associated with a 2-fold increase in levels of mRNA for angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1). ARPE-19 cells secrete significant levels of VEGF under normal culture conditions. Inhibition of proteasome activity increased the secretion of VEGF by 2-fold. In contrast to the increase in HIF activity, NF-κB activation was reduced by proteasome inhibition. In addition, the expression and secretion of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) by RPE were substantially attenuated by the inhibition of proteasome activity. These data demonstrate that the UPP plays an important role in modulating the activities of HIF and NF-κB in the RPE. Consequences of an impairment of the UPP include accumulation of HIF-1α and diminished NF-κB activation, which lead to enhanced expression and secretion of pro-angiogenic factors and attenuated expression of MCP-1. Taken together, these data predict that the impairment of the UPP could lead to the development of AMD-related phenotypes.
age-related macular degeneration; angiogenesis; signal transduction; retinal pigment epithelium; ubiquitin; proteasome; hypoxia-inducible factor; vascular endothelial growth factor; monocyte chemoattractant protein-1
Although activation of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) by Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with induction of host angiogenesis, which may contribute to H pylori associated gastric carcinogenesis, the strategy for its prevention has not been identified. As we previously reported a strong inhibitory action of gastric proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) on MAPK extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation, we investigated whether PPIs could suppress the H pylori induced angiogenesis via inhibition of MAPK ERK1/2.
To address the relationship between H pylori infection and angiogenesis, comparative analysis of density of CD34+ blood vessel was performed in tissues obtained from 20 H pylori positive gastritis and 18 H pylori negative gastritis patients. Expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF‐1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was tested by reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction and secretion of interleukin 8, and VEGF was measured by ELISA. To evaluate the direct effect of H pylori infection on the tubular formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), an in vitro angiogenesis assay was employed. Activation of MAPK and nuclear factor κB (NFκB) was detected by immunoblotting.
H pylori positive gastritis patients showed a higher density of CD34+ blood vessels (mean 40.9 (SEM 4.4)) than H pylori negative gastritis patients (7.2±0.8), which was well correlated with expression of HIF‐1α. Conditioned media from H pylori infected gastric epithelial cells directly induced tubular formation of HUVEC and the increase of in vitro angiogenesis was suppressed by PPI treatment. Infection of H pylori significantly upregulated expression of HIF‐1α and VEGF in gastric epithelial cells and expression of proangiogenic factors was mediated by MAPK activation and partially responsible for NFκB activation. PPIs effectively inhibited the phosphorylation of MAPK ERK1/2 that is a principal signal for H pylori induced angiogenesis.
The fact that PPIs could downregulate H pylori induced angiogenesis indicates that antiangiogenic treatment using a PPI could be a promising protective therapeutic approach for H pylori associated carcinogenesis.
H+/K+‐ATPase; proton pump inhibitor; Helicobacter pylori ; angiogenesis; MAPK ERK1/2
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most potent rodent renal carcinogens studied to date. Although controversial results regarding OTA genotoxicity have been published, it is now widely accepted that OTA is not a mutagenic, DNA-reactive carcinogen. Instead, increasing evidence from both in vivo and in vitro studies suggests that OTA may promote genomic instability and tumorigenesis through interference with cell division. The aim of the present study was to provide further support for disruption of mitosis as a key event in OTA toxicity and to understand how OTA mediates these effects. Immortalized human kidney epithelial cells (IHKE) were treated with OTA and monitored by differential interference contrast microscopy for 15 h. Image analysis confirmed that OTA at concentrations ≥ 5μM, which correlate with plasma concentrations in rats under conditions of carcinogenesis, causes sustained mitotic arrest and exit from mitosis without nuclear or cellular division. Mitotic chromosomes were characterized by aberrant condensation and premature sister chromatid separation associated with altered phosphorylation and acetylation of core histones. To test if OTA directly interferes with histone acetyltransferases (HATs) which regulate lysine acetylation of histones and nonhistone proteins, a cell-free HAT activity assay was conducted using total nuclear extracts of IHKE cells. In this assay, OTA significantly blocked HAT activity in a concentration-dependent manner Overall, results from this study provide further support for a mechanism of OTA carcinogenicity involving interference with the mitotic machinery and suggest HATs as a primary cellular target of OTA.
ochratoxin A; carcinogenesis; mitosis; histone; histone acetyltransferase; Haspin
We had demonstrated that plasminogen kringle 5 (K5), a potent angiogenic inhibitor, inhibited retinal neovascularization and hepatocellular carcinoma growth by anti-angiogenesis. The current study investigated the effects and the underlying mechanisms of K5 on both tumor growth and spontaneous pulmonary metastasis in Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) implanted mouse model. Similarly, K5 could decrease expression of VEGF in LLC cells and grafted tissues and suppress tumor angiogenesis and growth. K5 had no direct effect on proliferation and apoptosis of LLC. However, K5 could significantly inhibit SDF-1α-induced chemotaxis movement of LLC cells and resulted in a great reduction of surface metastatic nodules and micrometastases in the lungs of LLC tumor-bearing mice. K5 also decreased expression of chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) in LLC cells and grafted tissues. Furthermore, K5 down-regulated SDF-1α expression in metastatic lung tissues of LLC-bearing mice. Therefore, K5 may suppress tumor pulmonary metastasis through inhibiting SDF-1α-CXCR4 chemotaxis movement and down-regulation of VEGF. Moreover, the role of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a crucial transcriptional factor for both VEGF and CXCR4 expression, was evaluated. The siRNA of HIF-1α attenuated expression of VEGF and CXCR4 and inhibited LLC migration. K5 decreased HIF-1α protein level and impaired nuclear HIF-1α accumulation. These results showed for the first time that K5 inhibits LLC growth and metastasis via the dual effects of anti-angiogenesis and suppression of tumor cell motility by targeting the pivotal molecule, HIF-1α.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Severe polycystic liver disease can complicate adult dominant polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disease caused by defects in polycystin-1 (Pkd1) or polycystin-2 (Pkd2). Liver cyst epithelial cells (LCECs) express vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor, VEGFR-2. We investigated the effects of VEGF on liver cyst growth and autocrine VEGF signaling in mice with Pkd1 and Pkd2 conditional knockouts.
We studied mice in which Pkd1 or Pkd2 were conditionally inactivated following exposure to tamoxifen; these mice were called Pkd1flox/−:pCxCreER (Pkd1KO) and Pkd2flox/−:pCxCreER (Pkd2KO).
Pkd1KO and Pkd2KO mice developed liver defects; their LCECs expressed VEGF, VEGFR-2, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, phosphorylated extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 (pERK1/2), and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). In Pkd2KO but not Pkd1KO mice, exposure to the VEGFR-2 inhibitor SU5416 significantly reduced liver cyst development, liver/body weight ratio, and expression of pERK and PCNA. VEGF secretion and phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and VEGFR-2 were significantly increased in cultured LCECs from Pkd2KO compared with Pkd1KO mice. Inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) reduced VEGF secretion and pERK1/2 expression. Addition of VEGF to LCECs from Pkd2KO mice increased phosphorylated VEGFR-2 and phosphorylated mitogen signal-regulated kinase (MEK) expression and induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2; this was inhibited by SU5416. Expression of HIF-1α increased in parallel with secretion of VEGF following LCEC stimulation. VEGF-induced cell proliferation was inhibited by the MEK inhibitor U1026 and by ERK1/2 small interfering RNA.
The PKA–ERK1/2–VEGF signaling pathway promotes growth of liver cysts in mice. In Pkd2-defective LCECs, PKA-dependent ERK1/2 signaling controls HIF-1α–dependent VEGF secretion and VEGFR-2 signaling. Autocrine and paracrine VEGF signaling promotes the growth of liver cysts in Pkd2KO mice. VEGF inhibitors might be used to treat patients with polycystic liver disease.
Angiogenesis and bone formation are intimately related processes. Hypoxia during early bone development stabilizes hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and increases angiogenic signals including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Furthermore, stabilization of HIF-1α by genetic or chemical means stimulates bone formation. On the other hand, deficiency of Runx2, a key osteogenic transcription factor, prevents vascular invasion of bone and VEGF expression. This study explores the possibility that HIF-1α and Runx2 interact to activate angiogenic signals. Runx2 over-expression in mesenchymal cells increased VEGF mRNA and protein under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. In normoxia, Runx2 also dramatically increased HIF-1α protein. In all cases, the Runx2 response was inhibited by siRNA-mediated suppression of HIF-1α and completely blocked by the HIF-1α inhibitor, echinomycin. Similarly, treatment of preosteoblast cells with Runx2 siRNA reduced VEGF mRNA in normoxia or hypoxia. However, Runx2 is not essential for the HIF-1α response since VEGF is induced by hypoxia even in Runx2-null cells. Endogenous Runx2 and HIF-1α were colocalized to the nuclei of MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast cells. Moreover, HIF-1α and Runx2 physically interact using sites within the Runx2 RUNT domain. Chromatin immunoprecipitation also provided evidence for colocalization of Runx2 and HIF-1α on the VEGF promoter. In addition, Runx2 stimulated HIF-1α-dependent activation of an HRE-luciferase reporter gene without requiring a separate Runx2-binding enhancer. These studies indicate that Runx2 functions together with HIF-1α to stimulate angiogenic gene expression in bone cells and may in part explain the known requirement for Runx2 in bone vascularization.
Osteoblast; vascularization; angiogenesis; transcriptional factors; hypoxia
Chronic inflammation leads to the formation of a pro-tumorigenic microenvironment that can promote tumor development, growth and differentiation through augmentation of tumor angiogenesis. Prostate cancer (CaP) risk and prognosis are adversely correlated with a number of inflammatory and angiogenic mediators, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs), NF-κB and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Peroxiredoxin 1 (Prx1) was recently identified as an endogenous ligand for TLR4 that is secreted from CaP cells and promotes inflammation. Inhibition of Prx1 by CaP cells resulted in reduced expression of VEGF, diminished tumor vasculature and retarded tumor growth. The mechanism by which Prx1 regulates VEGF expression in normoxic conditions was investigated in the current study. Our results show that incubation of mouse vascular endothelial cells with recombinant Prx1 caused increases in VEGF expression that was dependent upon TLR4 and required hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) interaction with the VEGF promoter. The induction of VEGF was also dependent upon NF-κB; however, NF-κB interaction with the VEGF promoter was not required for Prx1 induction of VEGF suggesting that NF-κB was acting indirectly to induce VEGF expression. The results presented here show that Prx1 stimulation increased NF-κB interaction with the HIF-1α promoter, leading to enhanced promoter activity and increases in HIF-1α mRNA levels, as well as augmented HIF-1 activity that resulted in VEGF expression. Prx1 induced HIF-1 also promoted NF-κB activity, suggesting the presence of a positive feedback loop that has the potential to perpetuate Prx1 induction of angiogenesis. Strikingly, inhibition of Prx1 expression in CaP was accompanied with reduced expression of HIF-1α. The combined findings of the current study and our previous study suggest that Prx1 interaction with TLR4 promotes CaP growth potentially through chronic activation of tumor angiogenesis.