Hypoxia-associated induction of early growth response-1 gene expression

Shi Fang Yan, Jiesheng Lu, Yu Shan Zou, Jae Soh-Won, David M. Cohen, Peter M. Buttrick, Denise R. Cooper, Susan F. Steinberg, Nigel Mackman, David J. Pinsky, David M. Stern

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227 Scopus citations


The paradigm for the response to hypoxia is erythropoietin gene expression; activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) results in erythropoietin production. Previously, we found that oxygen deprivation induced tissue factor, especially in mononuclear phagocytes, by an early growth response (Egr-1)-dependent pathway without involvement of HIF-1 (Yan, S.-F., Zou, Y.-S., Gao, Y., Zhai, C., Mackman, N., Lee, S., Milbrandt, J., Pinsky, D., Kisiel, W., and Stern, D. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 95, 8298-8303). Now, we show that cultured monocytes subjected to hypoxia (pO2 ≃ 12 torr) displayed increased Egr-1 expression because of de novo biosynthesis, with a ≃10-fold increased rate of transcription. Transfection of monocytes with Egr-1 promoter-luciferase constructs localized elements responsible for hypoxia-enhanced expression to -424/-65, a region including EBS (ets binding site)-SRE (serum response element)-EBS and SRE-EBS-SRE sites. Further studies with each of these regions ligated to the basal thymidine kinase promoter and luciferase demonstrated that EBS sites in the element spanning -424/-375 were critical for hypoxia-enhanceable gene expression. These data suggested that an activated ets factor, such as Elk- 1, in complex with serum response factor, was the likely proximal trigger of Egr-1 transcription. Indeed, hypoxia induced activation of Elk-1, and suppression of Elk-1 blocked up-regulation of Egr-1 transcription. The signaling cascade preceding Elk-1 activation in response to oxygen deprivation was traced to activation of protein kinase C-βII, Raf, mitogen- activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinases. Comparable hypoxia-mediated Egr-1 induction and activation were observed in cultured hepatoma-derived cells deficient in HIF-1β and wild-type hepatoma cells, indicating that the HIF-1 and Egr-1 pathways are initiated independently in response to oxygen deprivation. We propose that activation of Egr-1 in response to hypoxia induces a different facet of the adaptive response than HIF-1, one component of which causes expression of tissue factor, resulting in fibrin deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15030-15040
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 21 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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