Expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1α and 2α and its association with vitamin C level in thyroid lesions.
J Biomed Sci. 2017 Oct 30 ;24(1):83. Epub 2017 Oct 30. PMID: 29084538
BACKGROUND: Cells adapt to hypoxia by transcriptional induction of genes that participate in regulation of angiogenesis, glucose metabolism and cell proliferation. The primary factors mediating cell response to low oxygen tension are hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs), oxygen-dependent transcription activators. The stability and activity of theα subunits of HIFs are controlled by hydroxylation reactions that require ascorbate as a cofactor. Therefore, deficiency of intracellular vitamin C could contribute to HIFs overactivation. In this study, we investigated whether vitamin C content of human thyroid lesions is associated with HIF-1α and HIF-2α protein levels.
METHODS: Expression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α as well as vitamin C content was analyzed in thyroid lesions and cultured thyroid carcinoma cell lines (FTC-133 and 8305c) treated with hypoxia-mimetic agent (cobalt chloride) and ascorbic acid. The expression of HIFs and hypoxia-induced glucose transporters were determined by Westernblots while quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect HIFs mRNA levels. Ascorbate and dehydroascorbate levels were measured by HPLC method.
RESULTS: We found an inverse correlation between vitamin C level and HIF-1α but not HIF-2α expression in thyroid lesions. These results agree with our in vitro study showing that vitamin C induced a dose - dependent decrease of HIF-1α but not HIF-2α protein level in thyroid cancer cells FTC-133 and 8305C. The decreased HIF-1α expression was correlated with reduced expression of hypoxia-related glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in thyroid cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that HIF-1α activation is associated with vitamin C content in thyroid lesions. Our study suggests that high tumor tissue ascorbate level could limit the expression of HIF-1α and its targets in thyroid lesions.