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Hypoxia inducible factor-α binding and ubiquitylation by the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steven Clifford

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Abstract

The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) has emerged as a key factor in cellular responses to oxygen availability, being required for the oxygen-dependent proteolysis of alpha subunits of hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF). Mutations in VHL cause a hereditary cancer syndrome associated with dysregulated angiogenesis, and up-regulation of hypoxia inducible genes. Here we investigate the mechanisms underlying these processes and show that extracts from VHL-deficient renal carcinoma cells have a defect in HIF-alpha ubiquitylation activity which is complemented by exogenous pVHL. This defect was specific for HIF-alpha among a range of substrates tested. Furthermore, HIF-alpha subunits were the only pVHL-associated proteasomal substrates identified by comparison of metabolically labeled anti-pVHL immunoprecipitates from proteosomally inhibited cells and normal cells. Analysis of pVHL/HIF-alpha interactions defined short sequences of conserved residues within the internal transactivation domains of HIF-alpha molecules sufficient for recognition by pVHL. In contrast, while full-length pVHL and the p19 variant interact with HIF-alpha, the association was abrogated by further N-terminal and C-terminal truncations. The interaction was also disrupted by tumor-associated mutations in the beta-domain of pVHL and loss of interaction was associated with defective HIF-alpha ubiquitylation and regulation, defining a mechanism by which these mutations generate a constitutively hypoxic pattern of gene expression promoting angiogenesis. The findings indicate that pVHL regulates HIF-alpha proteolysis by acting as the recognition component of a ubiquitin ligase complex, and support a model in which its beta domain interacts with short recognition sequences in HIF-alpha subunits.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Cockman ME, Masson N, Mole DR, Jaakkola P, Chang GW, Clifford SC, Maher ER, Pugh CW, Ratcliffe PJ, Maxwell PH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2000

Volume: 275

Issue: 33

Pages: 25733-25741

ISSN (print): 0021-9258

ISSN (electronic): 1083-351X

Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M002740200

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M002740200

Notes: Cockman, M E Masson, N Mole, D R Jaakkola, P Chang, G W Clifford, S C Maher, E R Pugh, C W Ratcliffe, P J Maxwell, P H Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United states The Journal of biological chemistry J Biol Chem. 2000 Aug 18;275(33):25733-41.


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