Vanadate-induced expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway and reactive oxygen species

Ning Gao, Min Ding, Jenny Z Zheng, Zhuo Zhang, Stephen S Leonard, Ke Jian Liu, Xianglin Shi, Bing-Hua Jiang
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2002 August 30, 277 (35): 31963-71
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a heterodimeric basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor composed of HIF-1 alpha and HIF-1 beta/aryl hydrocarbon nuclear translocator subunits. HIF-1 expression is induced by hypoxia, growth factors, and activation of oncogenes. In response to hypoxia, HIF-1 activates the expression of many genes including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and erythropoietin. HIF-1 and VEGF play an important role in angiogenesis and tumor progression. Vanadate is widely used in industry, and is a potent inducer of tumors in humans and animals. In this study, we demonstrate that vanadate induces HIF-1 activity through the expression of HIF-1alpha but not HIF-1 beta subunit, and increases VEGF expression in DU145 human prostate carcinoma cells. We also studied the signaling pathway involved in vanadate-induced HIF-1 alpha and VEGF expression and found that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling was required for HIF-1 and VEGF expression induced by vanadate, whereas mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway was not required. We also found that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were involved in vanadate-induced expression of HIF-1 and VEGF in DU145 cells. The major species of ROS responsible for the induction of HIF-1 and VEGF expression was H(2)O(2). These results suggest that the expression of HIF-1 and VEGF induced by vanadate through PI3K/Akt may be an important signaling pathway in the vanadate-induced carcinogenesis, and ROS may play an important role.

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