[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chuvash polycythemia is a rare congenital form of polycythemia caused by homozygous R200W and H191D mutations in the VHL (von Hippel-Lindau) gene, whose gene product is the principal negative regulator of hypoxia-inducible factor. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying some of the hallmark abnormalities of Chuvash polycythemia, such as hypersensitivity to erythropoietin, are unclear. Here we show that VHL directly binds suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) to form a heterodimeric E3 ligase that targets phosphorylated JAK2 (pJAK2) for ubiquitin-mediated destruction. In contrast, Chuvash polycythemia-associated VHL mutants have altered affinity for SOCS1 and do not engage with and degrade pJAK2. Systemic administration of a highly selective JAK2 inhibitor, TG101209, reversed the disease phenotype in Vhl(R200W/R200W) knock-in mice, an experimental model that recapitulates human Chuvash polycythemia. These results show that VHL is a SOCS1-cooperative negative regulator of JAK2 and provide biochemical and preclinical support for JAK2-targeted therapy in individuals with Chuvash polycythemia.
Nature medicine 06/2011; 17(7):845-53. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) family of transcription factors regulate the cellular response to hypoxia. In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), high HIF2alpha levels correlate with decreased overall survival, and inhibition of either the protein encoded by the canonical HIF target gene VEGF or VEGFR2 improves clinical outcomes. However, whether HIF2alpha is causal in imparting this poor prognosis is unknown. Here, we generated mice that conditionally express both a nondegradable variant of HIF2alpha and a mutant form of Kras (KrasG12D) that induces lung tumors. Mice expressing both Hif2a and KrasG12D in the lungs developed larger tumors and had an increased tumor burden and decreased survival compared with mice expressing only KrasG12D. Additionally, tumors expressing both KrasG12D and Hif2a were more invasive, demonstrated features of epithelial- mesenchymal transition (EMT), and exhibited increased angiogenesis associated with mobilization of circulating endothelial progenitor cells. These results implicate HIF2alpha causally in the pathogenesis of lung cancer in mice, demonstrate in vivo that HIF2alpha can promote expression of markers of EMT, and define HIF2alpha as a promoter of tumor growth and progression in a solid tumor other than renal cell carcinoma. They further suggest a possible causal relationship between HIF2alpha and prognosis in patients with NSCLC.
The Journal of clinical investigation 09/2009; 119(8):2160-70. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After decades of therapeutic nihilism in the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, remarkable therapeutic strides have been made over the last few years. Early forays into molecularly targeted therapy for this difficult-to-treat disease were based around the inhibition of gene products of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) transcription factor (i.e., VEGF). Recent data suggest that inhibition of mTOR results in clinical benefit in patients with poor prognostic features, and in preclinical models this therapeutic effect involves downregulation of HIF. Intriguingly, patients with nonclear cell histology appeared to obtain clinical benefit when treated with mTOR inhibitors. This review will highlight the mTOR pathway, its relevance to both clear cell and nonclear cell renal cell carcinoma, and its place in the host of quickly expanding treatment options.