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Renal tubular HIF-2alpha expression requires VHL inactivation and causes fibrosis and cysts.

Authors: Schietke, RE  Hackenbeck, T  Tran, M  Gunther, R  Klanke, B  Warnecke, CL  Knaup, KX  Shukla, D  Rosenberger, C  Koesters, R  Bachmann, S  Betz, P  Schley, G  Schodel, J  Willam, C  Winkler, T  Amann, K  Eckardt, KU  Maxwell, P  Wiesener, MS 
Citation: Schietke RE, etal., PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e31034. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031034. Epub 2012 Jan 27.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:22299048
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0031034

The Hypoxia-inducible transcription Factor (HIF) represents an important adaptive mechanism under hypoxia, whereas sustained activation may also have deleterious effects. HIF activity is determined by the oxygen regulated alpha-subunits HIF-1alpha or HIF-2alpha. Both are regulated by oxygen dependent degradation, which is controlled by the tumor suppressor "von Hippel-Lindau" (VHL), the gatekeeper of renal tubular growth control. HIF appears to play a particular role for the kidney, where renal EPO production, organ preservation from ischemia-reperfusion injury and renal tumorigenesis are prominent examples. Whereas HIF-1alpha is inducible in physiological renal mouse, rat and human tubular epithelia, HIF-2alpha is never detected in these cells, in any species. In contrast, distinct early lesions of biallelic VHL inactivation in kidneys of the hereditary VHL syndrome show strong HIF-2alpha expression. Furthermore, knockout of VHL in the mouse tubular apparatus enables HIF-2alpha expression. Continuous transgenic expression of HIF-2alpha by the Ksp-Cadherin promotor leads to renal fibrosis and insufficiency, next to multiple renal cysts. In conclusion, VHL appears to specifically repress HIF-2alpha in renal epithelia. Unphysiological expression of HIF-2alpha in tubular epithelia has deleterious effects. Our data are compatible with dedifferentiation of renal epithelial cells by sustained HIF-2alpha expression. However, HIF-2alpha overexpression alone is insufficient to induce tumors. Thus, our data bear implications for renal tumorigenesis, epithelial differentiation and renal repair mechanisms.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 11041600
Created: 2016-03-24
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2016-03-24
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.