Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 as a therapeutic target in cancer

Authors

  • Ceen-Ming Tang,

    1. Institute of Digestive Disease and Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    2. Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
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  • Jun Yu

    Corresponding author
    • Institute of Digestive Disease and Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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Correspondence

Professor Jun Yu, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong. Email: junyu@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcription factor that immortalizes tumors by inducing key genes in cancer biology, including angiogenesis, glycolysis, invasion, and metastasis. Overexpression of HIF-1α is thus associated with resistance to cancer chemotherapy and increased patient mortality in several cancer phenotypes. In the present review, we summarize the role of intratumoral hypoxia and bioactive lipids in enhancing HIF-1 activity, critically discussing the potential for HIF-1α inhibitors in cancer chemotherapy. Considering preclinical studies, HIF-1 inhibitors appear to have antitumor effects and thus represent a novel therapeutic strategy.

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