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1.  PHD3-mediated prolyl hydroxylation of nonmuscle actin impairs polymerization and cell motility 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(18):2788-2796.
Actin filament formation plays an essential role in cell movement, and posttranslational modifications regulate actin filament assembly. Prolyl hydroxylase 3 (PHD3) interacts with nonmuscle actins in HeLa cells and catalyzes prolyl hydroxylation of actin. Inhibition of PHD3 activity or expression increases F-actin formation and cell motility.
Actin filaments play an essential role in cell movement, and many posttranslational modifications regulate actin filament assembly. Here we report that prolyl hydroxylase 3 (PHD3) interacts with nonmuscle actin in human cells and catalyzes hydroxylation of actin at proline residues 307 and 322. Blocking PHD3 expression or catalytic activity by short hairpin RNA knockdown or pharmacological inhibition, respectively, decreased actin prolyl hydroxylation. PHD3 knockdown increased filamentous F-actin assembly, which was reversed by PHD3 overexpression. PHD3 knockdown increased cell velocity and migration distance. Inhibition of PHD3 prolyl hydroxylase activity by dimethyloxalylglycine also increased actin polymerization and cell migration. These data reveal a novel role for PHD3 as a negative regulator of cell motility through posttranslational modification of nonmuscle actins.
PMCID: PMC4161513  PMID: 25079693
2.  Hypoxia-inducible factors enhance glutamate signaling in cancer cells 
Oncotarget  2014;5(19):8853-8868.
Signaling through glutamate receptors has been reported in human cancers, but the molecular mechanisms are not fully delineated. We report that in hepatocellular carcinoma and clear cell renal carcinoma cells, increased activity of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) due to hypoxia or VHL loss-of-function, respectively, augmented release of glutamate, which was mediated by HIF-dependent expression of the SLC1A1 and SLC1A3 genes encoding glutamate transporters. In addition, HIFs coordinately regulated expression of the GRIA2 and GRIA3 genes, which encode glutamate receptors. Binding of glutamate to its receptors activated SRC family kinases and downstream pathways, which stimulated cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis resistance, migration and invasion in different cancer cell lines. Thus, coordinate regulation of glutamate transporters and receptors by HIFs was sufficient to activate key signal transduction pathways that promote cancer progression.
PMCID: PMC4253402  PMID: 25326682
AMPA receptor; clear cell renal carcinoma; hepatocellular carcinoma; HIF-1
3.  HIF-1 mediates metabolic responses to intratumoral hypoxia and oncogenic mutations 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(9):3664-3671.
Hypoxia occurs frequently in human cancers and induces adaptive changes in cell metabolism that include a switch from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis, increased glycogen synthesis, and a switch from glucose to glutamine as the major substrate for fatty acid synthesis. This broad metabolic reprogramming is coordinated at the transcriptional level by HIF-1, which functions as a master regulator to balance oxygen supply and demand. HIF-1 is also activated in cancer cells by tumor suppressor (e.g., VHL) loss of function and oncogene gain of function (leading to PI3K/AKT/mTOR activity) and mediates metabolic alterations that drive cancer progression and resistance to therapy. Inhibitors of HIF-1 or metabolic enzymes may impair the metabolic flexibility of cancer cells and make them more sensitive to anticancer drugs.
PMCID: PMC3754249  PMID: 23999440
4.  Hypoxia-inducible factor–dependent breast cancer–mesenchymal stem cell bidirectional signaling promotes metastasis 
Metastasis involves critical interactions between cancer and stromal cells. Intratumoral hypoxia promotes metastasis through activation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). We demonstrate that HIFs mediate paracrine signaling between breast cancer cells (BCCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to promote metastasis. In a mouse orthotopic implantation model, MSCs were recruited to primary breast tumors and promoted BCC metastasis to LNs and lungs in a HIF-dependent manner. Coculture of MSCs with BCCs augmented HIF activity in BCCs. Additionally, coculture induced expression of the chemokine CXCL10 in MSCs and the cognate receptor CXCR3 in BCCs, which was augmented by hypoxia. CXCR3 expression was blocked in cocultures treated with neutralizing antibody against CXCL10. Conversely, CXCL10 expression was blocked in MSCs cocultured with BCCs that did not express CXCR3 or HIFs. MSC coculture did not enhance the metastasis of HIF-deficient BCCs. BCCs and MSCs expressed placental growth factor (PGF) and its cognate receptor VEGFR1, respectively, in a HIF-dependent manner, and CXCL10 expression by MSCs was dependent on PGF expression by BCCs. PGF promoted metastasis of BCCs and also facilitated homing of MSCs to tumors. Thus, HIFs mediate complex and bidirectional paracrine signaling between BCCs and MSCs that stimulates breast cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3533298  PMID: 23318994
5.  Pyruvate Kinase M2 is a PHD3-stimulated Coactivator for Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1 
Cell  2011;145(5):732-744.
The pyruvate kinase isoforms PKM1 and PKM2 are alternatively spliced products of the PKM2 gene. PKM2, but not PKM1, alters glucose metabolism in cancer cells and contributes to tumorigenesis by mechanisms that are not explained by its known biochemical activity. We show that PKM2 gene transcription is activated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). PKM2 interacts directly with the HIF-1α subunit and promotes transactivation of HIF-1 target genes by enhancing HIF-1 binding and p300 recruitment to hypoxia response elements, whereas PKM1 fails to regulate HIF-1 activity. Interaction of PKM2 with prolyl hydroxylase 3 (PHD3) enhances PKM2 binding to HIF-1α and PKM2 coactivator function. Mass spectrometry and anti-hydroxyproline antibody assays demonstrate PKM2 hydroxylation on proline-403/408. PHD3 knockdown inhibits PKM2 coactivator function, reduces glucose uptake and lactate production, and increases O2 consumption in cancer cells. Thus, PKM2 participates in a positive feedback loop that promotes HIF-1 transactivation and reprograms glucose metabolism in cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3130564  PMID: 21620138
6.  Pyruvate kinase M2 regulates glucose metabolism by functioning as a coactivator for hypoxia-inducible factor 1 in cancer cells 
Oncotarget  2011;2(7):551-556.
Cancer cells feature altered glucose metabolism that allows their rapid growth. They consume large amounts of glucose to produce lactate, even in the presence of ample oxygen, which is known as the Warburg effect. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) contributes to the Warburg effect by previously unknown mechanisms. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) mediates PKM2 gene transcription and metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells. The recent discovery of novel physical and functional interactions between PKM2 and HIF-1 in cancer cells has provided insight into molecular mechanisms underlying the Warburg effect.
PMCID: PMC3248177  PMID: 21709315
HIF-1; hypoxia; metabolism; glycolysis; Warburg effect
7.  Vascular Responses to Hypoxia and Ischemia 
Blood vessels function as conduits for the delivery of O2 and nutrients. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) mediates adaptive transcriptional responses to hypoxia/ischemia that include expression of angiogenic cytokines/growth factors by hypoxic cells and expression of cognate receptors for these ligands by vascular cells and their progenitors. Impairment of HIF-1-dependent responses to hypoxia is a major factor contributing to the impaired vascular responses to ischemia that are associated with aging and diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2841694  PMID: 19729615
8.  Age-dependent Impairment of HIF-1α̣Expression in Diabetic Mice: Correction with Electroporation-facilitated Gene Therapy Increases Wound Healing, Angiogenesis, and Circulating Angiogenic Cells 
Journal of cellular physiology  2008;217(2):319-327.
Wound healing is impaired in elderly patients with diabetes mellitus. We hypothesized that age-dependent impairment of cutaneous wound healing in db/db diabetic mice: (a) would correlate with reduced expression of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) as well as its downstream target genes; and (b) could be overcome by HIF-1α replacement therapy. Wound closure, angiogenesis, and mRNA expression in excisional skin wounds were analyzed and circulating angiogenic cells were quantified in db/db mice that were untreated or received electroporation-facilitated HIF-1α gene therapy. HIF-1α mRNA levels in wound tissue were significantly reduced in older (4–6 months) as compared to younger (1.5–2 months) db/db mice. Expression of mRNAs encoding the angiogenic cytokines vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1), ANGPT2, platelet derived growth factor B (PDGF-B), and placental growth factor (PLGF) was also impaired in wounds of older db/db mice. Intradermal injection of plasmid gWIZ-CA5, which encodes a constitutively active form of HIF-1α, followed by electroporation, induced increased levels of HIF-1α mRNA at the injection site on day 3 and increased levels of VEGF, PLGF, PDGF-B, and ANGPT2 mRNA on day 7. Circulating angiogenic cells in peripheral blood increased 10-fold in mice treated with gWIZ-CA5. Wound closure was significantly accelerated in db/db mice treated with gWIZ-CA5 as compared to mice treated with empty vector. Thus, HIF-1α gene therapy corrects the age-dependent impairment of HIF-1α expression, angiogenic cytokine expression, and circulating angiogenic cells that contribute to the age-dependent impairment of wound healing in db/db mice.
PMCID: PMC2716010  PMID: 18506785
Aging; Angiogenesis; Diabetes; Wound Healing
9.  Tumor metabolism: cancer cells give and take lactate 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2008;118(12):3835-3837.
Tumors contain well-oxygenated (aerobic) and poorly oxygenated (hypoxic) regions, which were thought to utilize glucose for oxidative and glycolytic metabolism, respectively. In this issue of the JCI, Sonveaux et al. show that human cancer cells cultured under hypoxic conditions convert glucose to lactate and extrude it, whereas aerobic cancer cells take up lactate via monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) and utilize it for oxidative phosphorylation (see the related article beginning on page 3930). When MCT1 is inhibited, aerobic cancer cells take up glucose rather than lactate, and hypoxic cancer cells die due to glucose deprivation. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with an inhibitor of MCT1 retarded tumor growth. MCT1 expression was detected exclusively in nonhypoxic regions of human cancer biopsy samples, and in combination, these data suggest that MCT1 inhibition holds potential as a novel cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC2582934  PMID: 19033652
10.  New insights into nNOS regulation of vascular homeostasis 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2005;115(11):2976-2978.
An important physiological response to changes in local or systemic oxygenation is the modulation of vascular tone, which is mediated in part by changes in the activities of the 3 NO synthase (NOS) isoforms. In arterial smooth muscle cells, acute hypoxia induces increased vascular tone, which is attenuated if hypoxia persists. In this issue of the JCI, Ward et al. demonstrate that changes in O2 concentration have effects on neuronal NOS enzymatic activity and gene expression that contribute to vascular homeostasis under conditions of acute and chronic hypoxia.
PMCID: PMC1265879  PMID: 16276412
12.  Impaired physiological responses to chronic hypoxia in mice partially deficient for hypoxia-inducible factor 1α 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;103(5):691-696.
Chronic hypoxia induces polycythemia, pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular hypertrophy, and weight loss. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) activates transcription of genes encoding proteins that mediate adaptive responses to hypoxia, including erythropoietin, vascular endothelial growth factor, and glycolytic enzymes. Expression of the HIF-1α subunit increases exponentially as O2 concentration is decreased. Hif1a–/– mouse embryos with complete deficiency of HIF-1α due to homozygosity for a null allele at the Hif1a locus die at midgestation, with multiple cardiovascular malformations and mesenchymal cell death. Hif1a+/– heterozygotes develop normally and are indistinguishable from Hif1a+/+ wild-type littermates when maintained under normoxic conditions. In this study, the physiological responses of Hif1a+/– and Hif1a+/+ mice exposed to 10% O2 for one to six weeks were analyzed. Hif1a+/– mice demonstrated significantly delayed development of polycythemia, right ventricular hypertrophy, pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary vascular remodeling and significantly greater weight loss compared with wild-type littermates. These results indicate that partial HIF-1α deficiency has significant effects on multiple systemic responses to chronic hypoxia.
J. Clin. Invest. 103:691–696 (1999)
PMCID: PMC408131  PMID: 10074486
13.  Systemic Delivery of Microencapsulated 3-Bromopyruvate for the Therapy of Pancreatic Cancer 
This study characterized the therapeutic efficacy of a systemically administered formulation of 3-bromopyruvate (3-BrPA), microencapsulated in a complex with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), using an orthotopic xenograft mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
Experimental Design
The presence of the β-CD–3-BrPA complex was confirmed using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Monolayer as well as three-dimensional organotypic cell culture was used to determine the half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of β-CD–3-BrPA, free 3-BrPA, β-CD (control), and gemcitabine in MiaPaCa-2 and Suit-2 cell lines, both in normoxia and hypoxia. Phase-contrast microscopy, bioluminescence imaging (BLI), as well as zymography and Matrigel assays were used to characterize the effects of the drug in vitro. An orthotopic lucMiaPaCa-2 xenograft tumor model was used to investigate the in vivo efficacy.
β-CD–3-BrPA and free 3-BrPA demonstrated an almost identical IC50 profile in both PDAC cell lines with higher sensitivity in hypoxia. Using the Matrigel invasion assay as well as zymography, 3-BrPA showed anti-invasive effects in sublethal drug concentrations. In vivo, animals treated with β-CD–3-BrPA demonstrated minimal or no tumor progression as evident by the BLI signal as opposed to animals treated with gemcitabine or the β-CD (60-fold and 140-fold signal increase, respectively). In contrast to animals treated with free 3-BrPA, no lethal toxicity was observed for β-CD–3-BrPA.
The microencapsulation of 3-BrPA represents a promising step towards achieving the goal of systemically deliverable antiglycolytic tumor therapy. The strong anticancer effects of β-CD–3-BrPA combined with its favorable toxicity profile suggest that clinical trials, particularly in patients with PDAC, should be considered.
PMCID: PMC4300523  PMID: 25326230
14.  Hypoxia and the extracellular matrix: drivers of tumour metastasis 
Nature reviews. Cancer  2014;14(6):430-439.
Of the deaths attributed to cancer, 90% are due to metastasis, and treatments that prevent or cure metastasis remain elusive. Emerging data indicate that hypoxia and the extracellular matrix (ECM) might have crucial roles in metastasis. During tumour evolution, changes in the composition and the overall content of the ECM reflect both its biophysical and biological properties and these strongly influence tumour and stromal cell properties, such as proliferation and motility. Originally thought of as independent contributors to metastatic spread, recent studies have established a direct link between hypoxia and the composition and the organization of the ECM, which suggests a new model in which multiple microenvironmental signals might converge to synergistically influence metastatic outcome.
PMCID: PMC4283800  PMID: 24827502
15.  Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and breast cancer metastasis*  
Accumulating evidence has shown that the hypoxic microenvironment, which is critical during cancer development, plays a key role in regulating breast cancer progression and metastasis. The effects of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a master regulator of the hypoxic response, have been extensively studied during these processes. In this review, we focus on the roles of HIF-1 in regulating breast cancer cell metastasis, specifically its effects on multiple key steps of metastasis, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), invasion, extravasation, and metastatic niche formation. We also discuss the roles of HIF-1-regulated non-coding RNAs in breast cancer metastasis, and therapeutic opportunities for breast cancer through targeting the HIF-1 pathway.
PMCID: PMC4288942  PMID: 25559953
Breast cancer; Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1); Metastasis
16.  Sustained Delivery of a HIF-1 Antagonist for Ocular Neovascularization 
Doxorubicin (DXR) and daunorubicin (DNR) inhibit hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) transcriptional activity by blocking its binding to DNA. Intraocular injections of DXR or DNR suppressed choroidal and retinal neovascularization (NV), but also perturbed retinal function as demonstrated by electroretinograms (ERGs). DXR was conjugated to novel copolymers of branched polyethylene glycol and poly(sebacic acid) (DXR-PSA-PEG3) and formulated into nanoparticles that when placed in aqueous buffer, slowly released small DXR-conjugates. Intraocular injection of DXR-PSA-PEG3 nanoparticles (1 or 10 μg DXR content) reduced HIF-1-responsive gene products, strongly suppressed choroidal and retinal NV, and did not cause retinal toxicity. In transgenic mice that express VEGF in photoreceptors, intraocular injection of DXR-PSA-PEG3 nanoparticles (10 μg DXR content) suppressed NV for at least 35 days. Intraocular injection of DXR-PSA-PEG3 nanoparticles (2.7 mg DXR content) in rabbits resulted in sustained DXR-conjugate release with detectable levels in aqueous humor and vitreous for at least 105 days. This study demonstrates a novel HIF-1-inhibitor-polymer conjugate formulated into controlled-release particles that maximizes efficacy and duration of activity, minimizes toxicity, and provides a promising new chemical entity for treatment of ocular NV.
PMCID: PMC3871855  PMID: 24126220
age-related macular degeneration; angiogenesis; diabetic retinopathy; nanoparticles
17.  VEGF Secreted by Hypoxic Müller Cells Induces MMP-2 Expression and Activity in Endothelial Cells to Promote Retinal Neovascularization in Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy 
Diabetes  2013;62(11):3863-3873.
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), retinal ischemia promotes neovascularization (NV), which can lead to profound vision loss in diabetic patients. Treatment for PDR, panretinal photocoagulation, is inherently destructive and has significant visual consequences. Therapies targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have transformed the treatment of diabetic eye disease but have proven inadequate for treating NV, prompting exploration for additional therapeutic options for PDR patients. In this regard, extracellular proteolysis is an early and sustained activity strictly required for NV. Extracellular proteolysis in NV is facilitated by the dysregulated activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Here, we set out to better understand the regulation of MMPs by ischemia in PDR. We demonstrate that accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in Müller cells induces the expression of VEGF, which, in turn, promotes increased MMP-2 expression and activity in neighboring endothelial cells (ECs). MMP-2 expression was detected in ECs in retinal NV tissue from PDR patients, whereas MMP-2 protein levels were elevated in the aqueous of PDR patients compared with controls. Our findings demonstrate a complex interplay among hypoxic Müller cells, secreted angiogenic factors, and neighboring ECs in the regulation of MMP-2 in retinal NV and identify MMP-2 as a target for the treatment of PDR.
PMCID: PMC3806594  PMID: 23884892
18.  Increasing Burn Severity in Mice is Associated with Delayed Mobilization of Circulating Angiogenic Cells 
Angiogenesis is an important component of wound healing. Mobilization of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) has been observed in patients with cutaneous burn wounds, but a systematic exploration of the phenomenon in an animal model has not been carried out. Using a murine model, in which burn depth can be varied precisely, and a validated culture method for quantifying circulating CACs, we found that increasing burn depth resulted in a progressive delay in the time to mobilization of circulating CACs. This delay in CAC mobilization was associated with a delay in perfusion and vascularization of the burn wound tissue. Analysis of CACs in the peripheral blood of human burn patients, using the same culture assay, confirmed results previously obtained by flow cytometry, that CAC levels peak early after the burn wound, and point to the clinical relevance of findings from the murine model.
PMCID: PMC4209728  PMID: 20231626
19.  Impaired Angiogenesis and Mobilization of Circulating Angiogenic Cells in HIF-1α Heterozygous-Null Mice after Burn Wounding 
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a transcription factor that controls vascular responses to hypoxia and ischemia. In this study, mice that were heterozygous for a null allele at the locus encoding the HIF-1α subunit (HET mice) and their wild type (WT) littermates were subjected to thermal injury involving 10% of body surface area. HIF-1α protein levels were increased in burn wounds of WT but not of HET mice on day 2. Serum levels of stromal-derived factor 1α, which binds to CXCR4, were increased on day 2 in WT but not in HET mice. Circulating angiogenic cells were also increased on day 2 in WT but not in HET mice and included CXCR4+Sca1+ cells. Laser Doppler perfusion imaging demonstrated increased blood flow in burn wounds of WT but not HET mice on day 7. Immunohistochemistry on day 7 revealed a reduced number of CD31+ vessels at the healing margin of burn wounds in HET as compared to WT mice. Vessel maturation was also impaired in wounds of HET mice as determined by the number of α-smooth muscle actin-positive vessels on day 21. The remaining wound area on day 14 was significantly increased in HET mice compared to WT littermates. The percentage of healed wounds on day 14 was significantly decreased in HET mice. These data delineate a signaling pathway by which HIF-1 promotes angiogenesis during burn wound healing.
PMCID: PMC4206187  PMID: 20163569
20.  The Ubiquitin Ligase Stub1 Negatively Modulates Regulatory T cell Suppressive Activity by Promoting Degradation of the Transcription Factor Foxp3 
Immunity  2013;39(2):10.1016/j.immuni.2013.08.006.
Regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress inflammatory immune responses and autoimmunity caused by self-reactive T cells. The key Treg cell transcription factor Foxp3 is downregulated during inflammation to allow for the acquisition of effector T cell-like functions. Here, we demonstrate that stress signals elicited by proinflammatory cytokines and lipopolysaccharide lead to the degradation of Foxp3 through the action of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Stub1. Stub1 interacted with Foxp3 to promote its K48-linked polyubiquitination in an Hsp70-dependent manner. Knockdown of endogenous Stub1 or Hsp70 prevented Foxp3 degradation. Furthermore, the overexpression of Stub1 in Treg cells abrogated their ability to suppress inflammatory immune responses in vitro and in vivo, and conferred a T helper 1 (Th1) cell-like phenotype. Our results demonstrate the critical role of the stress-activated Stub1-Hsp70 complex in promoting Treg cell inactivation, thus providing a potential therapeutic target for the intervention against autoimmune disease, infection and cancer.
PMCID: PMC3817295  PMID: 23973223
21.  A Nontranscriptional Role for HIF-1α as a Direct Inhibitor of DNA Replication 
Science signaling  2013;6(262):ra10.
Cell cycle arrest in response to hypoxia is a fundamental physiological mechanism to maintain a balance between O2 supply and demand. Many of the cellular responses to reduced O2 availability are mediated through the transcriptional activity of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). We report a role for the isolated HIF-1α subunit as an inhibitor of DNA replication, and this role was independent of HIF-1β and transcriptional regulation. In response to hypoxia, HIF-1α bound to Cdc6, a protein that is essential for loading of the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) complex (which has DNA helicase activity) onto DNA, and promoted the interaction between Cdc6 and the MCM complex. Although the interaction between Cdc6 and the MCM complex increased the association of the MCM proteins with chromatin, the binding of HIF-1α to the complex decreased phosphorylation and activation of the MCM complex by the kinase Cdc7. As a result, HIF-1α inhibited firing of replication origins, decreased DNA replication, and induced cell cycle arrest in various cell types. These findings establish a transcription-independent mechanism by which the stabilization of HIF-1α leads to cell cycle arrest in response to hypoxia.
PMCID: PMC4124626  PMID: 23405012
22.  Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia Induces Atherosclerosis via Activation of Adipose Angiopoietin-like 4 
Rationale: Obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor for dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis, which have been attributed to chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH). Intermittent hypoxia inhibits a key enzyme of lipoprotein clearance, lipoprotein lipase, and up-regulates a lipoprotein lipase inhibitor, angiopoietin-like 4 (Angptl4), in adipose tissue. The effects and mechanisms of Angptl4 up-regulation in sleep apnea are unknown.
Objectives: To examine whether CIH induces dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis by increasing adipose Angptl4 via hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1).
Methods: ApoE−/− mice were exposed to intermittent hypoxia or air for 4 weeks while being treated with Angptl4-neutralizing antibody or vehicle.
Measurements and Main Results: In vehicle-treated mice, hypoxia increased adipose Angptl4 levels, inhibited adipose lipoprotein lipase, increased fasting levels of plasma triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and increased the size of atherosclerotic plaques. The effects of CIH were abolished by the antibody. Hypoxia-induced increases in plasma fasting triglycerides and adipose Angptl4 were not observed in mice with germline heterozygosity for a HIF-1α knockout allele. Transgenic overexpression of HIF-1α in adipose tissue led to dyslipidemia and increased levels of adipose Angptl4. In cultured adipocytes, constitutive expression of HIF-1α increased Angptl4 levels, which was abolished by siRNA. Finally, in obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery, the severity of nocturnal hypoxemia predicted Angptl4 levels in subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Conclusions: HIF-1–mediated increase in adipose Angptl4 and the ensuing lipoprotein lipase inactivation may contribute to atherosclerosis in patients with sleep apnea.
PMCID: PMC3778753  PMID: 23328524
sleep apnea; lipoprotein clearance; lipoprotein lipase; adipose tissue; hypoxia-inducible factor-1
23.  Collagen Prolyl Hydroxylases are Essential for Breast Cancer Metastasis 
Cancer research  2013;73(11):3285-3296.
Metastasis is the leading cause of death among patients with breast cancer. Understanding the role of the extracellular matrix in the metastatic process may lead to the development of improved therapies for cancer patients. Intratumoral hypoxia is found in the majority of breast cancers and is associated with an increased risk of metastasis and patient mortality. Here we demonstrate that hypoxia-inducible factor 1 activates the transcription of genes encoding collagen prolyl hydroxylases that are critical for collagen deposition by breast cancer cells. We show that expression of collagen prolyl hydroxylases promotes cancer cell alignment along collagen fibers, resulting in enhanced invasion and metastasis to lymph nodes and lungs. Lastly, we establish the prognostic significance of collagen prolyl hydroxylase mRNA expression in human breast cancer biopsies, and demonstrate that ethyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate, a prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor, decreases tumor fibrosis and metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3674184  PMID: 23539444
24.  Graft microvascular disease in solid organ transplantation 
Alloimmune inflammation damages the microvasculature of solid organ transplants during acute rejection. Although immunosuppressive drugs diminish the inflammatory response, they do not directly promote vascular repair. Repetitive microvascular injury with insufficient regeneration results in prolonged tissue hypoxia and fibrotic remodeling. While clinical studies show that a loss of the microvascular circulation precedes and may act as an initiating factor for the development of chronic rejection, preclinical studies demonstrate that improved microvascular perfusion during acute rejection delays and attenuates tissue fibrosis. Therefore, preservation of a functional microvasculature may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for preventing chronic rejection. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of the role of the microvasculature in the long-term survival of transplanted solid organs. We also highlight microvessel-centered therapeutic strategies for prolonging the survival of solid organ transplants.
PMCID: PMC4118041  PMID: 24880953
Transplantation; Graft microvascular disease; Endothelial cells; Fibrosis; Chronic rejection
25.  Promotion of airway anastomotic microvascular regeneration and alleviation of airway ischemia by deferoxamine nanoparticles 
Biomaterials  2013;35(2):803-813.
Airway tissue ischemia and hypoxia in human lung transplantation is a consequence of the sacrifice of the bronchial circulation during the surgical procedure and is a major risk factor for the development of airway anastomotic complications. Augmented expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α promotes microvascular repair and alleviates allograft ischemia and hypoxia. Deferoxamine mesylate (DFO) is an FDA-approved iron chelator which has been shown to upregulate cellular HIF-1α. Here, we developed a nanoparticle formulation of DFO that can be topically applied to airway transplants at the time of surgery. In a mouse orthotopic tracheal transplant (OTT) model, the DFO nanoparticle was highly effective in enhancing airway microvascular perfusion following transplantation through the production of the angiogenic factors, placental growth factor (PLGF) and stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1. The endothelial cells in DFO treated airways displayed higher levels of p-eNOS and Ki67, less apoptosis, and decreased production of perivascular reactive oxygen species (ROS) compared to vehicle-treated airways. In summary, a DFO formulation topically-applied at the time of surgery successfully augmented airway anastomotic microvascular regeneration and the repair of alloimmune-injured microvasculature. This approach may be an effective topical transplant-conditioning therapy for preventing airway complications following clinical lung transplantation.
PMCID: PMC4011640  PMID: 24161166
Transplantation; Oxygenation; Surface treatment; Nanoparticle; Wound healing; Bioabsorption

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