The NADPH oxidase subunit NOX4 is a new target gene of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1

Isabel Diebold, Andreas Petry, John Hess, Agnes Görlach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


NADPH oxidases are important sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS), possibly contributing to various disorders associated with enhanced proliferation. NOX4 appears to be involved in vascular signaling and may contribute to the response to hypoxia. However, the exact mechanisms controlling NOX4 levels under hypoxia are not resolved. We found that hypoxia rapidly enhanced NOX4 mRNA and protein levels in pulmonary artery smooth-muscle cells (PASMCs) as well as in pulmonary vessels from mice exposed to hypoxia. This response was dependent on the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor HIF-1α because overexpression of HIF-1α increased NOX4 expression, whereas HIF-1α depletion prevented this response. Mutation of a putative hypoxia-responsive element in the NOX4 promoter abolished hypoxic and HIF-1α-induced activation of the NOX4 promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation confirmed HIF-1α binding to the NOX4 gene. Induction of NOX4 by HIF-1α contributed to maintain ROS levels after hypoxia and hypoxia-induced proliferation of PASMCs. These findings show that NOX4 is a new target gene of HIF-1α involved in the response to hypoxia. Together with our previous findings that NOX4 mediates HIF-1α induction under normoxia, these data suggest an important role of the signaling axis between NOX4 and HIF-1α in various cardiovascular disorders under hypoxic and also nonhypoxic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2087-2096
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'The NADPH oxidase subunit NOX4 is a new target gene of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this