Cellular adaptation to diminished tissue oxygen tensions, hypoxia, is largely governed by the hypoxia inducible transcription factors, HIF-1 and HIF-2. Tumor hypoxia and high HIF protein levels are frequently associated with aggressive disease. In recent years, high tumor cell levels of HIF-2 and the oxygen sensitive subunit HIF-2alpha have been associated with unfavorable disease and shown to be highly expressed in tumor stem/initiating cells originating from neuroblastoma and glioma, respectively. In these cells, HIF-2 is active under nonhypoxic conditions as well, creating a pseudo-hypoxic phenotype with clear influence on tumor behavior. Neuroblastoma tumor initiating cells are immature with a neural crest-like phenotype and downregulation of HIF-2alpha in these cells results in neuronal sympathetic differentiation and the cells become phenotypically similar to the bulk of neuroblastoma cells found in clinical specimens. Knockdown of HIF-2alpha in neuroblastoma and glioma tumor stem/initiating cells leads to reduced levels of VEGF and poorly vascularized, highly necrotic tumors. As high HIF-2alpha expression further correlates with disseminated disease as demonstrated in neuroblastoma, glioma, and breast carcinoma, we propose that targeting HIF-2alpha and/or the pseudo-hypoxic phenotype induced by HIF-2 under normoxic conditions has great clinical potential.
|Title of host publication||Diverse Effects of Hypoxia on Tumor Progression|
|Editors||M. Celeste Simon|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Name||Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology|
Bibliographical noteThe information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Molecular Medicine (013031200)
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cancer and Oncology