JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prostaglandin E2 induces hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha stabilization and nuclear localization in a human prostate cancer cell line

Xin Hua Liu, Alexander Kirschenbaum, Min Lu, Shen Yao, Amy Dosoretz, James F Holland, Alice C Levine
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2002 December 20, 277 (51): 50081-6
12401798
Hypoxia-induced up-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is a critical event leading to tumor neovascularization. Hypoxia stimulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), a transcriptional activator of VEGF. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, an inducible enzyme that catalyzes the formation of prostaglandins (PGs) from arachidonic acid, is also induced by hypoxia. We reported previously that COX-2 inhibition prevents hypoxic up-regulation of VEGF in human prostate cancer cells and that prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) restores hypoxic effects on VEGF. We hypothesized that PGE(2) mediates hypoxic effects on VEGF by modulating HIF-1alpha expression. Addition of PGE(2) to PC-3ML human prostate cancer cells had no effect on HIF-1alpha mRNA levels. However, PGE(2) significantly increased HIF-1alpha protein levels, particularly in the nucleus. This effect of PGE(2) largely results from the promotion of HIF-1alpha translocation from the cytosol to the nucleus. PGE(2) addition to PC-3 ML cells transfected with a GFP-HIF-1alpha vector induced a time-dependent nuclear accumulation of the HIF-1alpha protein. Two selective COX-2 inhibitors, meloxicam and NS398, decreased HIF-1alpha levels and nuclear localization, under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Of several prostaglandins tested, only PGE(2) reversed the effects of a COX-2 inhibitor in hypoxic cells. Finally, PGE(2) effects on HIF-1alpha were specifically inhibited by PD98059 (a MAPK inhibitor). These data demonstrate that PGE(2) production via COX-2-catalyzed pathway plays a critical role in HIF-1alpha regulation by hypoxia and imply that COX-2 inhibitors can prevent hypoxic induction of HIF-mediated gene transcription in cancer cells.

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