Induction of endothelial PAS domain protein-1 by hypoxia: Characterization and comparison with hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha

M.S. Wiesener, H. Turley, William Allen, C. Willam, K.U. Eckardt, K.L. Talks, S.M. Wood, K.C. Gatter, A.L. Harris, C.W. Pugh, P.J. Ratcliffe, P.H. Maxwell

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Abstract

Hypoxia results in adaptive changes in the transcription of a range of genes including erythropoietin. An important mediator is hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), a DNA binding complex shown to contain at least two basic helix-loop-helix PAS-domain (bHLH-PAS) proteins, HIF-1 alpha and aryl hydrocarbon nuclear receptor translocator (ARNT), In response to hypoxia, HIF-1 alpha is activated and accumulates rapidly in the cell. Endothelial PAS domain protein 1 (EPAS-1) is a recently identified bHLH-PAS protein with 48% identity to HIF-1 alpha, raising the question of its role in responses to hypoxia. We developed specific antibodies and studied expression and regulation of EPAS-1 mRNA and protein across a range of human cell lines. EPAS-1 was widely expressed, and strongly induced by hypoxia at the level of protein but not mRNA. Comparison of the effect of a range of activating and inhibitory stimuli showed striking similarities in the EPAS-1 and HIF-1 alpha responses. Although major differences were observed in the abundance of EPAS-1 and HIF-1 alpha in different cell types, differences in the inducible response were subtle with EPAS-1 protein being slightly more evident in normoxic and mildly hypoxic cells. Functional studies in a mutant cell line (Ka13) expressing neither HIF-1 alpha nor EPAS-1 confirmed that both proteins interact with hypoxically responsive targets, but suggest target specificity with greater EPAS-1 transactivation (relative to HIF-1 alpha transactivation) of the VEGF promoter than the LDH-A promoter. (C) 1998 by The American Society of Hematology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2260-2268
Number of pages9
JournalBlood
Volume92
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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