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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-12

Höpfl, G; Wenger, R H; Ziegler, U; Stallmach, T; Gardelle, O; Achermann, R H; Wergin, M; Kaser-Hotz, B; Saunders, H M; Williams, K J; Stratford, I J; Gassmann, M; Desbaillets, I (2002). Rescue of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha-deficient tumor growth by wild-type cells is independent of vascular endothelial growth factor. Cancer Research, 62(10):2962-2970.

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In tumors, rapid cell proliferation associated with deficient vascularization leads to areas of hypoxia.Tumor hypoxia has direct consequences on clinical and prognostic parameters and is a potential therapeutic target. The hypoxic response depends critically on hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) in pathological (e.g., tumorigenesis) as well as physiological (e.g., development and wound healing) processes. By s.c. injection of HIF-1alpha(-/-) embryonic stem (ES) cells in nude mice, we were able to demonstrate the role of HIF-1alpha in cell differentiation of teratocarcinomas. HIF-1alpha(+/+) tumors grow fast and preferentially form neuronal tissue, whereas HIF-1alpha(-/-) tumors show delayed growth and favorably form mesenchyme-derived tissue. Mixing wild-type and HIF-1alpha(-/-) ES cells in the same tumor at a ratio as low as 1:100, we showed that HIF-1alpha(+/+) cells can rescue the growth of mixed tumors although these tumors are not significantly different phenotypically or genotypically from the original HIF-1alpha(-/-) tumors. Interestingly, these results are not restricted to teratocarcinomas: they were confirmed with mixtures of Hepa1/Hepa1C4 cells (where HIF-1beta is mutated), demonstrating that growth changes are not related to differences in differentiation observed within teratocarcinomas. We also showed that despite lower mRNA expression, vascular endothelial growth factor protein status in HIF-1alpha(-/-) and mixed tumors does not significantly differ from the HIF-1alpha(+/+) tumors. Moreover, we demonstrated that tumor vascularization remains proportional to vascular endothelial growth factor protein levels, but that hypoxic up-regulation of this growth factor is not the decisive factor influencing tumor growth. Differences in levels of apoptosis are not responsible for alteration in growth because poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, a hallmark of the apoptotic process, was similar in HIF-1alpha(+/+), HIF-1alpha(-/-), and mixed tumors. Our data demonstrate that the HIF-1alpha-dependent response of a few cells is capable of sustaining the growth of the whole tumor, probably through the secretion of factors up-regulated under low oxygen conditions.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Surgical Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:15 May 2002
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:11
Last Modified:18 May 2016 16:06
Publisher:American Association for Cancer Research
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Related URLs:http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/full/62/10/2962
PubMed ID:12019179

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