Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) mediates many of the systemic and cellular responses to intermittent hypoxia (IH), which is an experimental model that simulates O2 saturation profiles occurring with recurrent apnea. IH-evoked HIF-1α synthesis and stability are due to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by NADPH oxidases, especially Nox2. However, the mechanisms by which IH activates Nox2 are not known. We recently reported that IH activates xanthine oxidase (XO) and the resulting increase in ROS elevates intracellular calcium levels. Since Nox2 activation requires increased intracellular calcium levels, we hypothesized XO-mediated calcium signaling contributes to Nox activation by IH. We tested this possibility in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells subjected to IH consisting alternating cycles of hypoxia (1.5% O2 for 30 sec) and normoxia (21% O2 for 5 min). Kinetic analysis revealed that IH-induced XO preceded Nox activation. Inhibition of XO activity either by allopurinol or by siRNA prevented IH-induced Nox activation, translocation of the cytosolic subunits p47phox and p67phox to the plasma membrane and their interaction with gp91phox. ROS generated by XO also contribute to IH-evoked Nox activation via calcium-dependent protein kinase C stimulation. More importantly, silencing XO blocked IH-induced upregulation of HIF-1α demonstrating that HIF-1α activation by IH requires Nox2 activation by XO.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)