Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 06 15490(2) 480-485 pii 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.06.066
Human lysyl oxidase (LOX) is a hypoxia-responsive gene whose product catalyzes collagen crosslinking and is thought to be important in cancer metastasis and osteoarthritis. We previously demonstrated that LOX was upregulated by hypoxia inducible factor 2 (HIF-2) more strongly than hypoxia inducible 1 (HIF-1). Here, we further investigated the response of the LOX gene and LOX promoter to HIFs. LOX mRNA, measured by real time reverse transcriptase-PCR, was strongly up-regulated (almost 40-fold), by transfection of HEK-293T cells with a plasmid encoding the HIF-2α subunit of HIF-2, but only three-fold by a plasmid encoding HIF-1α. LOX protein was detectable by Western blot of cells transfected with HIF-2α, but not with HIF-1α. Analysis of a 1487 bp promoter sequence upstream of the human LOX gene revealed 9 potential hypoxia response elements (HREs). Promoter truncation allowed the mapping of two previously unidentified functional HREs, called here HRE8 and HRE7; -455 to -451 and -382 to -386 bp, respectively, upstream of the start codon for LOX. Removal or mutation of these HREs led to a substantial reduction in both HIF-1α and HIF-2α responsiveness. Also, expression of LOX was significantly inhibited by a small molecule specific HIF-2 inhibitor. In conclusion, LOX is highly responsive to HIF-2α and this is largely mediated by two previously unidentified HREs. These observations enhance our understanding of the regulation of this important gene involved in cancer and osteoarthritis, and suggest that these conditions may be targeted by HIF-2 inhibitors.