Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)

Featured Article: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α dependent nuclear entry of factor inhibiting HIF-1.

PMID 25687434


The regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) transcriptional activity in the nucleus is related to factor inhibiting HIF-1 (FIH-1). FIH-1 hydrolyzes asparagine at the C-terminal of HIF-1α, preventing the interaction between HIF-1α and its associated cofactors, and leading to suppressed activation of HIF-1. FIH-1 is a cytosolic protein and its entry to the nucleus has to be coordinated with HIF-1α. The present study was undertaken to examine the correlation between HIF-1α and FIH-1 in their nuclear entry. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were treated with dimethyloxalylglycine at a final concentration of 100 µM for 4 h, resulting in an accumulation of HIF-1α and an increase of FIH-1 in the nucleus as determined by Western blot analysis. Pretreatment of the cells with copper (Cu) chelator tetraethylenepentamine at 50 µM in cultures for 24 h reduced both HIF-1α protein levels and the HIF-1α entry to the nucleus, along with decreased FIH-1 protein levels in the nucleus but no changes in the total FIH-1 protein levels in the cells. These effects were prevented by simultaneous addition of 50 µM CuSO4 with tetraethylenepentamine. Gene-silencing of HIF-1α significantly inhibited FIH-1 entry to the nucleus, but did not affect the total protein levels of FIH-1 in the cells. This work demonstrates that the nuclear entry of FIH-1 depends on HIF-1α. Cu deficiency caused a decrease of HIF-1α, leading to suppression of FIH-1 entry to the nucleus.