Role of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α in gastric cancer cell growth, angiogenesis, and vessel maturation

Oliver Stoeltzing, Marya F. McCarty, Jane S. Wey, Fan Fan, Wenbiao Liu, Anna Belcheva, Corazon D. Bucana, Gregg L Semenza, Lee M. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a heterodimer comprising the oxygen-regulated subunit, HIF-1α, and HIF-1β, mediates transcription of the gene for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Overexpression of HIF-1α is associated with tumor angiogenesis and tumor cell proliferation and invasion. We examined the effects of inhibiting HIF-1α activity on angiogenesis and human gastric cancer growth in vivo. Methods: Human gastric cancer TMK-1 cells were stably transfected with pHIF-1αDN, an expression plasmid encoding a dominant-negative form of HIF-1α that dimerizes with endogenous HIF-1β to produce HIF-1 complexes that cannot activate transcription, or with the empty expression vector (pCEP4). Two clones of pHIF-1αDN-transfected cells, DN2 and DN3, were tested in all experiments. We used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure VEGF secretion by transfected cells cultured in hypoxic (1% O2) or nonhypoxic (20% O2) conditions. We used subcutaneous and orthotopic mouse tumor models to examine the growth of tumors derived from injected pHIF-1αDN- or pCEP4-transfected cells. Tumor cell proliferation, vessel area (a measure of functional vascular volume), and tumor endothelial cell association with pericyte-like cells (a measure of vessel maturation) were analyzed by immunohistochemical or immunofluorescent staining. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: DN2 cells and DN3 cells secreted less VEGF than pCEP4-transfected TMK-1 cells when cultured in nonhypoxic or hypoxic conditions (e.g., DN2 versus pCEP4 in nonhypoxic conditions: 645 pg of VEGF/106 cells versus 1591 pg of VEGF/106 cells, difference = 946 pg of VEGF/106 cells [95% confidence interval {CI} = 640 to 1251 pg of VEGF/106 cells; P = .006]; DN2 versus pCEP4 in hypoxic conditions: 785 pg of VEGF/106 cells versus 2807 pg of VEGF/106 cells, difference = 2022 pg of VEGF/106 cells [95% CI = 1871 to 2152 pg of VEGF/106 cells; P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-956
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 16 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Stoeltzing, O., McCarty, M. F., Wey, J. S., Fan, F., Liu, W., Belcheva, A., ... Ellis, L. M. (2004). Role of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α in gastric cancer cell growth, angiogenesis, and vessel maturation. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 96(12), 946-956.