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Normoxic destabilization of ATF-4 depends on proteasomal degradation

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Abstract Aim: 

Hypoxia-inducible gene expression is an important physiological adaptive mechanism in response to a decreased oxygen supply. We have recently described an oxygen- and prolyl-4-hydroxylase (PHD)3-dependent stabilization of the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4). The aim of the present study was to examine if the normoxic destabilization of ATF-4 is regulated by oxygen-dependent proteasomal degradation. Methods: 

We determined poly-ubiquitination of ATF-4 in normoxia compared to hypoxia by immunoprecipitation and immunoblots. Furthermore, we analysed the expression of the ATF-4 target gene GADD153 as a function of oxygen concentration. Results: 

ATF-4 protein levels were not detectable in normoxia. Normoxic degradation correlated with an oxygen-dependent poly-ubiquitination of ATF-4, which was hindered by hypoxic incubation of the cells. As a result of hypoxia, GADD153 was expressed. The hypoxic GADD153 expression was attenuated or increased by transfecting the cells with ATF-4 siRNA or PHD3 siRNA respectively. Conclusion: 

Our results demonstrate the involvement of oxygen-dependent proteasomal degradation of ATF-4 in the hypoxia-induced expression of GADD153. Taken together, hypoxia/PHD3-regulated stabilization of ATF-4 by hindering oxygen-dependent degradation may play a critical role in linking cell fate decisions to oxygen availability.

Keywords: ATF-4; hypoxia; proteasome; β-TRCP

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010


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