Fernández-Martínez Ana B., Jiménez María I. Arenas, Manzano Victoria Moreno, Lucio-Cazaña Francisco J.
We have previously found in human renal proximal tubular HK-2 cells that hypoxia- and all-trans retinoic acid-induced hypoxia-inducible factor-1 up-regulation is accompanied by retinoic acid receptor- up-regulation. Here we first investigated whether hypoxia-inducible factor-1 expression is dependent on retinoic acid receptor- and our results confirmed it since i) Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 -inducing agents hypoxia, hypoxia-mimetic agent desferrioxamine, all-trans-retinoic acid and interleukin-1 increased retinoic acid receptor- expression, ii) Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 up-regulation was prevented by retinoic acid receptor- antagonist LE-135 or siRNA retinoic acid receptor- and iii) there was direct binding of retinoic acid receptor- to the retinoic acid response element in hypoxia-inducible factor-1 promoter upon treatment with all-trans retinoic acid and 16,16-dimethyl-prostaglandin E2. Since intracellular prostaglandin E2 mediates hypoxia-inducible factor-1 up-regulation in normoxia in HK-2 cells, we next investigated, and confirmed, its role in the up-regulation of retinoic acid receptor- in normoxia by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 -inducing agents all-trans retinoic acid, interleukin-1 and 16,16-dimethyl-prostaglandin E2 by inhibiting cyclooxygenases, prostaglandin influx transporter or EP receptors. Interestingly, the hypoxia-induced increase in retinoic acid receptor- expression and accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 was also blocked by the inhibitors tested. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that retinoic acid receptor- signalling is involved in the control of the expression of transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in both normoxia and hypoxia, and that retinoic acid receptor- expression is found to be strictly regulated by intracellular prostaglandin E2. Given the relevance of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in the kidney in terms of tumorigenesis, progressive renal failure, production of erythropoietin and protection in several models of renal disease, our results open new therapeutic opportunities on the control of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 based upon the pharmacological modulation of retinoic acid receptor- , either directly or through the control of intracellular prostaglandin E2 levels/signalling.