Hypoxia-inducible factor 2alpha regulates macrophage function in mouse models of acute and tumor inflammation.
ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) and HIF-2alpha display unique and sometimes opposing activities in regulating cellular energy homeostasis, cell fate decisions, and oncogenesis. Macrophages exposed to hypoxia accumulate both HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha, and overexpression of HIF-2alpha in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is specifically correlated with high-grade human tumors and poor prognosis. However, the precise role of HIF-2alpha during macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses remains unclear. To fully characterize cellular hypoxic adaptations, distinct functions of HIF-1alpha versus HIF-2alpha must be elucidated. We demonstrate here that mice lacking HIF-2alpha in myeloid cells (Hif2aDelta/Delta mice) are resistant to lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxemia and display a marked inability to mount inflammatory responses to cutaneous and peritoneal irritants. Furthermore, HIF-2alpha directly regulated proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression in macrophages activated in vitro. Hif2aDelta/Delta mice displayed reduced TAM infiltration in independent murine hepatocellular and colitis-associated colon carcinoma models, and this was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation and progression. Notably, HIF-2alpha modulated macrophage migration by regulating the expression of the cytokine receptor M-CSFR and the chemokine receptor CXCR4, without altering intracellular ATP levels. Collectively, our data identify HIF-2alpha as an important regulator of innate immunity, suggesting it may be a useful therapeutic target for treating inflammatory disorders and cancer.
Project description:The cellular response to hypoxia includes the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1)-induced transcription of genes involved in diverse processes such as glycolysis and angiogenesis. Induction of the HIF-regulated genes, as a consequence of the microenvironment or genetic changes, is known to have an important role in the growth of experimental tumors. Hypoxia-inducible factors 1alpha and 2alpha (HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha) are known to dimerize with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator in mediating this response. Because regulation of the alpha chain protein level is a primary determinant of HIF activity, our aim was to investigate the distribution of HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha by immunohistochemistry in normal and pathological tissues using monoclonal antibodies (mAb). We raised a new mAb to detect HIF-1alpha, designated 122, and used our previously validated mAb 190b to HIF-2alpha. In the majority of solid tumors examined, including bladder, brain, breast, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and renal carcinomas, nuclear expression of HIF-1alpha and -2alpha was observed in varying subsets of the tumor cells. HIF-2alpha was also strongly expressed by subsets of tumor-associated macrophages, sometimes in the absence of any tumor cell expression. Less frequently staining was observed in other stromal cells within the tumors and in normal tissue adjacent to tumor margins. In contrast, in normal tissue neither molecule was detectable except within subsets of bone marrow macrophages, where HIF-2alpha was strongly expressed.
Project description:Transcriptional responses to hypoxia are primarily mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), a heterodimer of HIF-alpha and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator subunits. The HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha subunits are structurally similar in their DNA binding and dimerization domains but differ in their transactivation domains, implying they may have unique target genes. Previous studies using Hif-1alpha(-/-) embryonic stem and mouse embryonic fibroblast cells show that loss of HIF-1alpha eliminates all oxygen-regulated transcriptional responses analyzed, suggesting that HIF-2alpha is dispensable for hypoxic gene regulation. In contrast, HIF-2alpha has been shown to regulate some hypoxia-inducible genes in transient transfection assays and during embryonic development in the lung and other tissues. To address this discrepancy, and to identify specific HIF-2alpha target genes, we used DNA microarray analysis to evaluate hypoxic gene induction in cells expressing HIF-2alpha but not HIF-1alpha. In addition, we engineered HEK293 cells to express stabilized forms of HIF-1alpha or HIF-2alpha via a tetracycline-regulated promoter. In this first comparative study of HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha target genes, we demonstrate that HIF-2alpha does regulate a variety of broadly expressed hypoxia-inducible genes, suggesting that its function is not restricted, as initially thought, to endothelial cell-specific gene expression. Importantly, HIF-1alpha (and not HIF-2alpha) stimulates glycolytic gene expression in both types of cells, clearly showing for the first time that HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha have unique targets.
Project description:Adaptive transcriptional responses to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) are mediated by the hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), heterodimeric transcription factors composed of two basic helix-loop-helix-PAS family proteins. The transcriptional activity of HIF is determined by the hypoxic stabilization of the HIF-alpha proteins. HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha exhibit high sequence homology but have different mRNA expression patterns; HIF-1alpha is expressed ubiquitously whereas HIF-2alpha expression is more restricted to certain tissues, e.g., the endothelium, lung, brain, and neural crest derivatives. Germ-line deletion of either HIF subunit is embryonic lethal with unique features suggesting important roles for both HIF-alpha isoforms. Global deletion of Hif-2alpha results in distinct phenotypes depending on the mouse strain used for the mutation, clearly demonstrating an important role for HIF-2alpha in mouse development. The function of HIF-2alpha in adult life, however, remains incompletely understood. In this study, we describe the generation of a conditional murine Hif-2alpha allele and the effect of its acute postnatal ablation. Under very stringent conditions, we ablate Hif-2alpha after birth and compare the effect of acute global deletion of Hif-2alpha and Hif-1alpha. Our results demonstrate that HIF-2alpha plays a critical role in adult erythropoiesis, with acute deletion leading to anemia. Furthermore, although HIF-1alpha was first purified and cloned based on its affinity for the human erythropoietin (EPO) 3' enhancer hypoxia response element (HRE) and regulates Epo expression during mouse embryogenesis, HIF-2alpha is the critical alpha isoform regulating Epo under physiologic and stress conditions in adults.
Project description:Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are transcription factors that mediate adaptive responses to reduced oxygen availability. HIF-alpha subunits are stabilized under conditions of acute hypoxia. However, prolonged hypoxia leads to decay of HIF-1alpha but not HIF-2alpha protein levels by unknown mechanisms. Here, we identify Hsp70 and CHIP (carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein) as HIF-1alpha-interacting proteins. Hsp70, through recruiting the ubiquitin ligase CHIP, promotes the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of HIF-1alpha but not HIF-2alpha, thereby inhibiting HIF-1-dependent gene expression. Disruption of Hsp70-CHIP interaction blocks HIF-1alpha degradation mediated by Hsp70 and CHIP. Inhibition of Hsp70 or CHIP synthesis by RNA interference increases protein levels of HIF-1alpha but not HIF-2alpha and attenuates the decay of HIF-1alpha levels during prolonged hypoxia. Thus, Hsp70- and CHIP-dependent ubiquitination represents a molecular mechanism by which prolonged hypoxia selectively reduces the levels of HIF-1alpha but not HIF-2alpha protein.
Project description:Transcriptional responses to hypoxia are primarily mediated by hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha. The HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha subunits are structurally similar in their DNA binding and dimerization domains but differ in their transactivation domains, implying they may have unique target genes and require distinct transcriptional cofactors. Our previous results demonstrated that HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha regulate distinct target genes. Here, we report that HIF-2alpha is not transcriptionally active in embryonic stem (ES) cells, as well as possible inhibition by a HIF-2alpha-specific transcriptional repressor. Using DNA microarray analysis of hypoxia-inducible genes in wild-type (WT), Hif-1alpha(-)(/)(-), and Hif-2alpha(-)(/)(-) ES cells, we show that HIF-1alpha induces a large number of both confirmed and novel hypoxia-inducible genes, while HIF-2alpha does not activate any of its previously described targets. We further demonstrate that inhibition of HIF-2alpha function occurs at the level of transcription cofactor recruitment to endogenous target gene promoters. Overexpression of WT and, notably, a DNA-binding-defective HIF-2alpha mutant restores endogenous HIF-2alpha protein activity, suggesting that ES cells express a HIF-2alpha-specific corepressor that can be titrated by overexpressed HIF-2alpha protein. HIF-2alpha repression may explain why patients with mutations in the VHL tumor suppressor gene display cancerous lesions in specific tissue types.
Project description:Hypoxia, through the hypoxia-inducible transcription factors HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha (HIFs), induces angiogenesis by up-regulating a common set of angiogenic cytokines. Unlike HIF-1alpha, which regulates a unique set of genes, most genes regulated by HIF-2alpha overlap with those induced by HIF-1alpha. Thus, the unique contribution of HIF-2alpha remains largely obscure. By using adenoviral mutant HIF-1alpha and adenoviral mutant HIF-2alpha constructs, where the HIFs are transcriptionally active under normoxic conditions, we show that HIF-2alpha but not HIF-1alpha regulates adenosine A(2A) receptor in primary cultures of human lung endothelial cells. Further, siRNA knockdown of HIF-2alpha completely inhibits hypoxic induction of A(2A) receptor. Promoter studies show a 2.5-fold induction of luciferase activity with HIF-2alpha cotransfection. Analysis of the A(2A) receptor gene promoter revealed a hypoxia-responsive element in the region between -704 and -595 upstream of the transcription start site. By using a ChIP assay, we demonstrate that HIF-2alpha binding to this region is specific. In addition, we demonstrate that A(2A) receptor has angiogenic potential, as assessed by increases in cell proliferation, cell migration, and tube formation. Additional data show increased expression of A(2A) receptor in human lung tumor cancer samples relative to adjacent normal lung tissue. These data also demonstrate that A(2A) receptor is regulated by hypoxia and HIF-2alpha in human lung endothelial cells but not in mouse-derived endothelial cells.
Project description:KRAS and BRAF mutations are frequently observed in human colon cancers. These mutations occur in a mutually exclusive manner, and each is associated with distinctive biological features. We showed previously that K-ras can interact with hypoxia to activate multiple signaling pathways. Many hypoxic responses are mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1alpha and HIF-2alpha, and we sought to define the roles of mutant KRAS and BRAF in the induction of HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha in colon cancer cells. Ectopic expression of mutant K-ras in Caco2 cells enhanced the hypoxic induction of only HIF-1alpha, whereas mutant BRAF enhanced both HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha. Knockout or knockdown of mutant KRAS in DLD-1 and HCT116 cells impaired the hypoxic induction of only HIF-1alpha. HIF-1alpha mRNA levels were comparable in cells with and without a KRAS mutation. However, the rate of HIF-1alpha protein synthesis was higher in cells with a KRAS mutation, and this was suppressed by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002. In contrast, knockdown of mutant BRAF in HT29 cells suppressed both HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha. Although BRAF regulated mRNA levels of both HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha, knockdown of BRAF or treatment with the MEK inhibitor PD98059 impaired the translation of only HIF-2alpha. Our data reveal that oncogenic KRAS and BRAF mutations differentially regulate the hypoxic induction of HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha in colon cancer, and this may potentially contribute to the phenotypic differences of KRAS and BRAF mutations in colon tumors.
Project description:Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are critical transcription factors that mediate cell survival during reduced oxygen conditions (hypoxia). At regular oxygen conditions (normoxia), HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha are continuously synthesized in cells and degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. During hypoxia, these proteins are stabilized and translocate to the nucleus to activate transcription of target genes that enable cell survival at reduced oxygen levels. HIF proteins are tightly regulated via post-translational modifications including phosphorylation, acetylation, prolyl-hydroxylation and ubiquitination. Here we show for the first time that exogenous and endogenous HIF-2alpha are also regulated via the ubiquitin-like modifier small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO). Using mutational analysis, we found that K394, which is situated in the sumoylation consensus site LKEE, is the major SUMO acceptor site in HIF-2alpha. Functionally, sumoylation reduced the transcriptional activity of HIF-2alpha. Similar to HIF-1alpha, HIF-2alpha is regulated by the SUMO protease SENP1. The proteasome inhibitor MG132 strongly stabilized SUMO-2-conjugated HIF-2alpha during hypoxia but did not affect the total level of HIF-2alpha. The ubiquitin E3 ligases von Hippel-Lindau and RNF4 control the levels of sumoylated HIF-2alpha, indicating that sumoylated HIF-2alpha is degraded via SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligases.
Project description:Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) controls an extensive range of adaptive responses to hypoxia. To better understand this transcriptional cascade we performed genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation using antibodies to two major HIF-alpha subunits, and correlated the results with genome-wide transcript profiling. Within a tiled promoter array we identified 546 and 143 sequences that bound, respectively, to HIF-1alpha or HIF-2alpha at high stringency. Analysis of these sequences confirmed an identical core binding motif for HIF-1alpha and HIF-2alpha (RCGTG) but demonstrated that binding to this motif was highly selective, with binding enriched at distinct regions both upstream and downstream of the transcriptional start. Comparison of HIF-promoter binding data with bidirectional HIF-dependent changes in transcript expression indicated that whereas a substantial proportion of positive responses (>20% across all significantly regulated genes) are direct, HIF-dependent gene suppression is almost entirely indirect. Comparison of HIF-1alpha- versus HIF-2alpha-binding sites revealed that whereas some loci bound HIF-1alpha in isolation, many bound both isoforms with similar affinity. Despite high-affinity binding to multiple promoters, HIF-2alpha contributed to few, if any, of the transcriptional responses to acute hypoxia at these loci. Given emerging evidence for biologically distinct functions of HIF-1alpha versus HIF-2alpha understanding the mechanisms restricting HIF-2alpha activity will be of interest.
Project description:Hypoxia promotes genetic instability for tumor progression. Recent evidence indicates that the transcription factor HIF-1alpha impairs DNA mismatch repair, yet the role of HIF-1alpha isoform, HIF-2alpha, in tumor progression remains obscure. In pursuit of the involvement of HIF-alpha in chromosomal instability, we report here that HIF-1alpha, specifically its PAS-B, induces DNA double-strand breaks at least in part by repressing the expression of NBS1, a crucial DNA repair gene constituting the MRE11A-RAD50-NBS1 complex. Despite strong similarities between the two isoforms, HIF-2alpha fails to do so. We demonstrate that this functional distinction stems from phosphorylation of HIF-2alpha Thr-324 by protein kinase D1, which discriminates between subtle differences of the two PAS-B in amino-acid sequence, thereby precluding NBS1 repression. Hence, our findings delineate a molecular pathway that functionally distinguishes HIF-1alpha from HIF-2alpha, and arguing a unique role for HIF-1alpha in tumor progression by promoting genomic instability.