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JCI table of contents: March 23, 2009

ly on hypoxia to promote their own expansion.

In the study, human lung cancer cells were engineered to express the protein myoglobin, which specializes in oxygen transport, storage, and buffering. When these cells were injected into mice, the tumors that developed exhibited no regions of hypoxia, and this was associated with both markedly reduced tumor growth and an inability to metastasize to secondary locations. Further analysis confirmed that the effects were mainly a result of decreased tumor hypoxia, leading the authors to conclude that hypoxia seems to be a key factor driving tumor progression.

In an accompanying commentary, Ulrich Flgel and Chi Dang, highlight the importance of these data and discus other ways in which myoglobin might affect tumor progression.

TITLE: Prevention of hypoxia by myoglobin expression in human tumor cells promotes differentiation and inhibits metastasis

Paolo Michieli
University of Turin Medical School, Turin, Italy.
Phone: 39-011-993-3219; Fax: 39-011-993-3225; E-mail:

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TITLE: Myoglobin tames tumor growth and spread

Ulrich Flgel,
Institut fr Herz- und Kreislaufphysiologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universitt, Dsseldorf, Germany.
Phone: 49-211-8112785; Fax: 49-211-8112672; E-mail:

Chi Dang
Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Phone: (410) 955-2411; Fax: (410) 955-0185; E-mail:

View the PDF of this article at:


Contact: Karen Honey
Journal of Clinical Investigation

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