Promoter-associated proteins of EPAS1 identified by enChIP-MS – A putative role of HDX as a negative regulator

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Presence of perivascular neuroblastoma cells with high expression of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-2α correlates with distant metastasis and aggressive disease. Regulation of HIFs are traditionally considered to occur post-translationally, but we have recently shown that HIF-2α is unconventionally regulated also at the transcriptional level in neuroblastoma cells. Regulatory factors binding directly to EPAS1 (encoding HIF-2α) to promote transcription are yet to be defined. Here, we employ the novel CRISPR/Cas9-based engineered DNA-binding molecule-mediated chromatin immunoprecipitation (enChIP) – mass spectrometry (MS) methodology to, in an unbiased fashion, identify proteins that associate with the EPAS1 promoter under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Our enChIP analysis resulted in 27 proteins binding to the EPAS1 promoter in neuroblastoma cells. In agreement with a general hypoxia-driven downregulation of gene transcription, the majority (24 out of 27) of proteins dissociate from the promoter at hypoxia. Among them were several nucleosome-associated proteins suggesting a general opening of chromatin as one explanation to induced EPAS1 transcription at hypoxia. Of particular interest from the list of released factors at hypoxia was the highly divergent homeobox (HDX) transcription factor, that we show inversely correlates with HIF-2α in neuroblastoma cells. We propose a putative model where HDX negatively regulates EPAS1 expression through a release-of-inhibition mechanism.


External organisations
  • Osaka University
  • Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Ghent University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer and Oncology


  • enChIP, HDX, HIF-2α, Hypoxia, MYCN, Neuroblastoma
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 5
Publication categoryResearch