A chemical genomics screen highlights the essential role of mitochondria in HIF-1 regulation.

Lin X, David CA, Donnelly JB, Michaelides M, Chandel NS, Huang X, Warrior U, Weinberg F, Tormos KV, Fesik SW, Shen Y
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 105 (1): 174-9

PMID: 18172210 · PMCID: PMC2224181 · DOI:10.1073/pnas.0706585104

Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) plays an essential role in tumor development and progression by regulating genes that are vital for proliferation, glycolysis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. To identify strategies of targeting the HIF-1 pathway, we screened a siRNA library against the entire druggable genome and a small-molecule library consisting of 691,200 compounds using a HIF-1 reporter cell line. Although the siRNA library screen failed to reveal any druggable targets, the small-molecule library screen identified a class of alkyliminophenylacetate compounds that inhibit hypoxia-induced HIF-1 reporter activity at single-digit nanomolar concentrations. These compounds were found to inhibit hypoxia but not deferoxamine-induced HIF-1alpha protein stabilization. Further analysis indicated that the alkyliminophenylacetate compounds likely inhibit the HIF-1 pathway through blocking the hypoxia-induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Strikingly, all of the nonalkyliminophenylacetate HIF-1 inhibitors identified from the small-molecule library screen were also found to target mitochondria like the alkyliminophenylacetate compounds. The exclusive enrichment of mitochondria inhibitors from a library of >600,000 diverse compounds by using the HIF-1 reporter assay highlights the essential role of mitochondria in HIF-1 regulation. These results also suggest that targeting mitochondrial ROS production might be a highly effective way of blocking HIF-1 activity in tumors.

MeSH Terms (16)

Acetates Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Gene Library Genomics Genomics Humans Hypoxia Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit Mitochondria Models, Biological Nuclear Proteins Pharmacogenetics Reactive Oxygen Species RNA, Small Interfering Small Molecule Libraries Technology, Pharmaceutical

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