[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcriptional response driven by Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is central to the adaptation to oxygen restriction. Despite recent characterization of genome-wide HIF DNA binding locations and hypoxia-regulated transcripts in different cell types, the molecular bases of HIF target selection remain unresolved. Herein, we combined multi-level experimental data and computational predictions to identify sequence motifs that may contribute to HIF target selectivity. We obtained a core set of bona fide HIF binding regions by integrating multiple HIF1 DNA binding and hypoxia expression profiling datasets. This core set exhibits evolutionarily conserved binding regions and is enriched in functional responses to hypoxia. Computational prediction of enriched transcription factor binding sites identified sequence motifs corresponding to several stress-responsive transcription factors, such as activator protein 1 (AP1), cAMP response element-binding (CREB), or CCAAT-enhancer binding protein (CEBP). Experimental validations on HIF-regulated promoters suggest a functional role of the identified motifs in modulating HIF-mediated transcription. Accordingly, transcriptional targets of these factors are over-represented in a sorted list of hypoxia-regulated genes. Altogether, our results implicate cooperativity among stress-responsive transcription factors in fine-tuning the HIF transcriptional response.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45708. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcriptional response driven by Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is central to the adaptation to oxygen restriction. Hence, the complete identification of HIF targets is essential for understanding the cellular responses to hypoxia. Herein we describe a computational strategy based on the combination of phylogenetic footprinting and transcription profiling meta-analysis for the identification of HIF-target genes. Comparison of the resulting candidates with published HIF1a genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation indicates a high sensitivity (78%) and specificity (97.8%). To validate our strategy, we performed HIF1a chromatin immunoprecipitation on a set of putative targets. Our results confirm the robustness of the computational strategy in predicting HIF-binding sites and reveal several novel HIF targets, including RE1-silencing transcription factor co-repressor (RCOR2). In addition, mapping of described polymorphisms to the predicted HIF-binding sites identified several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that could alter HIF binding. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that SNP rs17004038, mapping to a functional hypoxia response element in the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) locus, prevents induction of this gene by hypoxia. Altogether, our results show that the proposed strategy is a powerful tool for the identification of HIF direct targets that expands our knowledge of the cellular adaptation to hypoxia and provides cues on the inter-individual variation in this response.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2010; 38(7):2332-45. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When oxygen becomes limiting, cells reduce mitochondrial respiration and increase ATP production through anaerobic fermentation of glucose. The Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIFs) play a key role in this metabolic shift by regulating the transcription of key enzymes of glucose metabolism. Here we show that oxygen regulates the expression of the muscle glycogen synthase (GYS1). Hypoxic GYS1 induction requires HIF activity and a Hypoxia Response Element within its promoter. GYS1 gene induction correlated with a significant increase in glycogen synthase activity and glycogen accumulation in cells exposed to hypoxia. Significantly, knockdown of either HIF1alpha or GYS1 attenuated hypoxia-induced glycogen accumulation, while GYS1 overexpression was sufficient to mimic this effect. Altogether, these results indicate that GYS1 regulation by HIF plays a central role in the hypoxic accumulation of glycogen. Importantly, we found that hypoxia also upregulates the expression of UTP:glucose-1-phosphate urydylyltransferase (UGP2) and 1,4-alpha glucan branching enzyme (GBE1), two enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of glycogen. Therefore, hypoxia regulates almost all the enzymes involved in glycogen metabolism in a coordinated fashion, leading to its accumulation. Finally, we demonstrated that abrogation of glycogen synthesis, by knock-down of GYS1 expression, impairs hypoxic preconditioning, suggesting a physiological role for the glycogen accumulated during chronic hypoxia. In summary, our results uncover a novel effect of hypoxia on glucose metabolism, further supporting the central importance of metabolic reprogramming in the cellular adaptation to hypoxia.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(3):e9644. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low oxygen levels induce an adaptive response in cells through the activation of HIFs (hypoxia-inducible factors). These transcription factors are mainly regulated by a group of proline hydroxylases that, in the presence of oxygen, target HIF for degradation. The expression of two such enzymes, EGLN1 [EGL nine homologous protein 1, where EGL stands for egg laying defective (Caenorhabditis elegans gene)] and EGLN3, is induced by hypoxia through a negative feedback loop, and we have demonstrated recently that hypoxic induction of EGLN expression is HIF-dependent. In the present study, we have identified an HRE (hypoxia response element) in the region of the EGLN3 gene using a combination of bioinformatics and biological approaches. Initially, we isolated a number of HRE consensus sequences in a region of 40 kb around the human EGLN3 gene and studied their evolutionary conservation. Subsequently, we examined the functionality of the conserved HRE sequences in reporter and chromatin precipitation assays. One of the HREs, located within a conserved region of the first intron of the EGLN3 gene 12 kb downstream of the transcription initiation site, bound HIF in vivo. Furthermore, this sequence was able to drive reporter gene expression under conditions of hypoxia in an HRE-dependent manner. Indeed, we were able to demonstrate that HIF was necessary and sufficient to induce gene expression from this enhancer sequence.