A hypoxia-independent hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activation pathway induced by phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt in HER2 overexpressing cells

Yan M. Li, Binhua P. Zhou, Jiong Deng, Yong Pan, Nissim Hay, Mien Chie Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations

Abstract

HER2 overexpression, a known prognostic factor in many human cancers, can activate phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI-3K)/Akt pathways and plays an important role in mediating cell survival and tumor development. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) promote angiogenesis and energy metabolism and thereby enhance tumor growth and metastasis. HIFs, composed of α and β subunits, are activated in most human cancers, including those that overexpress HER2. Previous reports have suggested that increased PI-3K/Akt or decreased PTEN activity may activate the HIF pathway in various tumors, but the detailed mechanism is still not completely understood. Here we reported an interaction between the HIF and PI-3K/Akt pathways in HER2-overexpressing cancer cells. Our results indicate that HER2 overexpression, which results in constitutively active Akt, turns on HIF-1α independently of hypoxia, and this activation is weaker than that under hypoxic condition. Further investigation showed that Akt is required for the hypoxia-independent HIF activity. The PI-3K/Akt pathway did not affect the HIF-1α binding with its E3 ligase von Hippel-Lindau but enhanced the binding affinity between the HIF-1 α and β subunits. Furthermore, we found that Akt interacts with HIF-1β and regulates HIF activity. Our results indicated that HER2 can induce HIF activation via the activation of Akt suggesting that activation of HER2/Akt pathway may promote angiogenesis independent of hypoxia, which may have important implications for the oncogenic activity of HER2 and Akt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3257-3263
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Volume65
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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