International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-012-1070-5 Pages: 464-470

Effects of hypoxia and HIFs on cancer metabolism

1. Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute

2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Correspondence to:
M. Celeste Simon
Tel: +1-215-7465532
Fax: +1-215-7465511



Cancer cells are characterized by rapid proliferation and require adaptive metabolic responses to allow continued biosynthesis and cell growth in the setting of decreased oxygen (O2) and nutrient availability. The hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are a common link between adaptation to low O2, changes in cancer metabolism, and malignant progression. The HIF-α subunits differentially regulate metabolic enzymes and other key factors involved in glycolysis, changes in redox status, and oxidative phosphorylation. Importantly, metabolic changes can, in turn, regulate HIF activity. Finally, changes in metabolism under hypoxia lead to important crosstalk between cancer cells and the stromal compartment of the microenvironment.

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