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Iron facilitator LS081 reduces hypoxia-inducible factor-1α protein and functions as anticancer agent in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cancer science
Publication Date
Volume
103
Issue
4
Pages
767–774
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2011.02192.x
PMID: 22181812
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) has a central role in cellular oxygen-sensing, and its overexpression in many types of cancer is considered important in tumor progression. Thus, targeting HIF-1α production and activity has been of great therapeutic interest. In normoxic conditions, HIF-1α is hydroxylated by oxygen-dependent prolyl-hydroxylases, which require ferrous iron for its activity. The tumor suppressor protein von Hippel Lindau binds to the hydroxylated HIF-1α, which is then ubiquitinated and degraded by proteasomes. We focused on the physiological degradation machinery of HIF-1α mediated by prolyl hydroxylases. Previously, we identified a small molecule, LS081, that is capable of stimulating iron uptake into cells. In the present study, we aimed to inhibit the expression of HIF-1α protein and growth of hepatocellular carcinoma by using the iron-facilitating activity of LS081. In the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines Hep3B and HepG2, a combination of LS081 and ferric ammonium citrate (LS081/FeAC) inhibited HIF-1α protein expression but did not inhibit HIF-1α mRNA expression. A mutated HIF-1α protein, which has proline residues that were replaced with alanine and transfected into HEK293 cells, was not affected by the combination of LS081 and FeAC. Furthermore, the iron-facilitating activity of LS081 resulted in Hep3B and HepG2 growth inhibition in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that the iron-facilitating activity of LS081 inhibits HIF-1α expression through prolyl-hydroxylation of HIF-1α and might have a therapeutic effect in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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