HIF-1α protein is upregulated in HIF-2α depleted cells via enhanced translation.
ABSTRACT The hypoxia-inducible factors HIF-1 and HIF-2 are primarily regulated via stabilization of their respective ?-subunits under hypoxic conditions. Previously, compensatory upregulation of one HIF-α-subunit upon depletion of the other α-subunit was described, yet the underlying mechanism remained elusive. Here we provide evidence that enhanced HIF-1α protein expression in HIF-2α knockdown (k/d) cells neither results from elevated HIF-1α mRNA expression, nor from increased HIF-1α protein stability. Instead, we identify enhanced HIF-1α translation as molecular mechanism. Moreover, we found elevated levels of the RNA-binding protein HuR and provide evidence that HuR is critical for the compensatory HIF-1α regulation in HIF-2α k/d cells.