HIF-alpha in Cr (VI) Carcinogenesis

  • Zhang, Zhuo (PI)
  • Shi, Xianglin (CoI)
  • Chen, Fei (Former CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Although the carcinogenicity of Cr(VI) has been well documented by studies both in vitro and in vivo, its mechanism of action remains to be investigated. Our recent studies indicate that Cr(VI) induces HIF-1á activation. MAP kinase p38 and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in this process. HIF-1á is a key regulatory protein for angiogenesis, which is a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Solid tumors of smaller than 1 to 2 cubic millimeters are not vascularized. To spread, they need to be supplied by blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients and remove metabolic wastes. Inhibition of HIF-1á decreases cell transformation capacity in hypoxia and tumor growth in vivo, while overexpression of HIF-1á allows anchorage-independent growth in normoxia and development of more aggressive tumors. Since HIF-1á is important in cancer initiation and progression, it is likely that HIF-1á activation and angiogenesis could be important in Cr(VI)-mediated carcinogenesis. We hypothesize that ROS and HIF-1á activation play an important role in Cr(VI)-induced carcinogenesis. Human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells and athymic female nude mice (3-4 weeks old) deficient in thymus-dependent (T-cell) immunological functions will be used in the present study. Three specific aims are proposed. Aim 1 will investigate the mechanism of Cr(VI)-induced ROS generation and the role of ROS in activation of HIF-1á and angiogenesis in vitro. The regulation of HIF-1 activity could occur at multiple levels: transcription, translation, and post-translational modifications. The questions remain open concerning at what level Cr(VI) induces HIF-1á activation. Aim 2 will answer that question in cell system. Aim 3 will investigate the roles of ROS and HIF-á signaling in Cr(VI)-induced cell transformation in vitro, tumorigenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis in vivo. We anticipate that Cr(VI) induces angiogenesis via HIF-1á activation through ROS and MAP kinase p38, promoting Cr(VI)-induced cell transformation, tumorigenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis.
Effective start/end date8/9/108/31/11


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