Abstract 5440: Klf2 Inhibits Hif-1α Expression and Function in the Endothelium
Introduction: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a central regulator of the hypoxic response in many cell types. In endothelial cells, HIF-1 induces the expression of key pro-angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to induce new blood vessel formation. Recent studies have identified Kruppel-like Factor 2 (KLF2) as a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis. However, the role of KLF2 in regulating the expression and function of HIF-1 has not been evaluated.
Hypothesis: KLF2 inhibits HIF-1α expression and function.
Methods and Results: Adenoviral overexpression of KLF2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) inhibited hypoxia-induced expression of HIF-1α, VEGF secretion, and matrigel tube formation. Conversely, siRNA-mediated knockdown of KLF2 in HUVECs increased HIF-1α expression and VEGF secretion. Consistent with this observation, KLF2−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) showed accelerated HIF-1α accumulation in response to hypoxia and a marked induction of VEGF secretion (90.4±7.4 pg/ml in KLF2+/+ versus 234.6±6.1 pg/ml in KLF2−/−, p<0.01). From a mechanistic standpoint, KLF2-mediated reduction of HIF-1α level was attenuated by three distinct proteasome inhibitors (MG132, ALLN, or lactacystin), demonstrating that KLF2 mediated reduction of HIF-1α protein was proteasome-dependent. In addition, KLF2 maintained its ability to inhibit HIF-1α protein levels in VHL−/− cells, thermo-sensitive E1 deficient cells, and p53−/− cells. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that KLF2 overexpression disrupted the interaction between HIF-1α and its chaperone Hsp90, suggesting that KLF2 promotes degradation of HIF-1α by affecting its folding and maturation.
Conclusions: These observations identify KLF2 as a novel inhibitor of HIF-1α expression and function through a VHL/p53 independent but proteasome dependent pathway. As such, KLF2 may be a target for modulating the angiogenic response in disease states.