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Publication Detail

Title: The involvement of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1-dependent pathway in nickel carcinogenesis.

Authors: Salnikow, Konstantin; Davidson, Todd; Zhang, Qunwei; Chen, Lung Chi; Su, Weichen; Costa, Max

Published In Cancer Res, (2003 Jul 1)

Abstract: Nickel is a potent environmental pollutant in industrial countries. Because nickel compounds are carcinogenic, exposure to nickel represents a serious hazard to human health. The understanding of how nickel exerts its toxic and carcinogenic effects at a molecular level may be important in risk assessment, as well as in the treatment and prevention of occupational diseases. Previously, using human and rodent cells in vitro, we showed that hypoxia-inducible signaling pathway was activated by carcinogenic nickel compounds. Acute exposure to nickel resulted in the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF)-1, which strongly activated hypoxia-inducible genes, including the recently discovered tumor marker NDRG1 (Cap43). To further identify HIF-1-dependent nickel-inducible genes and to understand the role of the HIF-dependent signaling pathway in nickel-induced transformation, we used the Affymetrix GeneChip to compare the gene expression profiles in wild-type cells or in cells from HIF-1 alpha knockout mouse embryos exposed to nickel chloride. As expected, when we examined 12,000 genes for expression changes, we found that genes coding for glycolytic enzymes and glucose transporters, known to be regulated by HIF-1 transcription factor, were induced by nickel only in HIF-1 alpha-proficient cells. In addition, we found a number of other hypoxia-inducible genes up-regulated by nickel in a HIF-dependent manner including BCL-2-binding protein Nip3, EGLN1, hypoxia-inducible gene 1 (HIG1), and prolyl 4-hydroxylase. Additionally, we found a number of genes induced by nickel in a HIF-independent manner, suggesting that Ni activated other signaling pathways besides HIF-1. Finally, we found that in HIF-1 alpha knockout cells, nickel strongly induced the expression of the whole group of genes that were not expressed in the presence of HIF-1. Because the majority of modulated genes were induced or suppressed by nickel in a HIF-1-dependent manner, we elucidated the role of HIF-1 transcription factor in cell transformation. In HIF-1 alpha-proficient cells, nickel exposure increased soft agar growth, whereas it decreased soft agar growth in HIF-1 alpha-deficient cells. We hypothesize that the induction of HIF-1 transcription factor by nickel may be important during the nickel-induced carcinogenic process.

PubMed ID: 12839937 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Carcinogens/toxicity*; Cell Line; Cell Transformation, Neoplastic/drug effects; DNA-Binding Proteins/deficiency; DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics; DNA-Binding Proteins/physiology*; Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic/drug effects*; Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs; Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1; Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit; Mice; Mice, Knockout; Nickel/toxicity*; Nuclear Proteins/deficiency; Nuclear Proteins/genetics; Nuclear Proteins/physiology*; Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis; Transcription Factors*

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