Enhancement of hypoxia-induced tumor cell death in vitro and radiation therapy in vivo by use of small interfering RNA targeted to hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha.


Journal Article

Hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) is an important transcriptional factor that is activated when mammalian cells experience hypoxia, a tumor microenvironmental condition that plays pivotal roles in tumor progression and treatment. In this study, we examined the idea of down-regulating HIF-1alpha in tumor cells for therapeutic gain. We show that the expression levels of HIF-1alpha can be significantly attenuated by use of the recently established small interfering RNA technology in combination with adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. Down-regulation of the HIF-1alpha protein enhanced hypoxia-mediated tumor cell apoptosis in vitro. Subcutaneous tumor growth was also prevented from cells with attenuated HIF-1alpha expression. In addition, intratumoral injection of adenovirus encoding the HIF-1alpha-targeted small interfering RNA had a small but significant effect on tumor growth when combined with ionizing radiation. Therefore, our results provide proof of HIF-1alpha as an effective target for anticancer therapy. They also suggest that an adenovirus-based small interfering RNA gene transfer approach may be a potentially effective adjuvant strategy for cancer treatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, X; Kon, T; Wang, H; Li, F; Huang, Q; Rabbani, ZN; Kirkpatrick, JP; Vujaskovic, Z; Dewhirst, MW; Li, C-Y

Published Date

  • November 15, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 22

Start / End Page

  • 8139 - 8142

PubMed ID

  • 15548675

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15548675

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0008-5472

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-03-2301


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States