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Johns Hopkins researchers link cell division and oxygen levels
Date:6/10/2011

d, the activity of HIF-1 went down, while reducing the levels of MCMs, led to increased HIF-1 activity. "HIF-1 instructs cells not to divide, since more cells will consume more oxygen, making any shortage of oxygen even worse, while the role of MCMs is to trigger cell division" says Semenza. "So it's not surprising that MCMs would oppose the action of HIF-1."

The team also noticed that there seemed to be less MCM7 present when cells were exposed to low oxygen for 24 hours. To see if this had anything to do with HIF-1, they first turned up HIF-1 levels in cells--by either exposing them to low oxygen or treating them with a drug that boosts HIF-1 production--and found a decrease in the levels of MCM proteins 24 hours later. Separately, they removed HIF-1 from cells, then exposed the cells to low oxygen and found no change in MCM protein levels, allowing the group to conclude that HIF-1 controls MCM proteins as well, so that the MCMs and HIF-1 oppose each other's action. "It's like a tug of war," says Semenza. "When oxygen and nutrients are plentiful, MCMs win, and cells divide. When oxygen is low, HIF-1 wins and cell division is prevented. The mutual antagonism may be critical for tightly controlling cell growth based on oxygen availability."


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Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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