Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is a heterodimeric transcription factor that plays a crucial role in mediating cellular responses to oxygen. Oxygen availability influences multiple steps in HIF activation and recent studies have indicated that at least two steps in this process are governed by a novel mode of signal transduction involving enzymatic hydroxylation of specific amino acid residues in HIF-alpha subunits by a series of 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG)-dependent oxygenases. These enzymes are non-haem iron enzymes that use dioxygen in the hydroxylation reaction and therefore provide a direct link between the availability of molecular oxygen and regulation of HIF. Prolyl hydroxylation regulates proteolytic destruction of HIF-alpha by the von Hippel-Lindau ubiquitin ligase complex, whereas HIF-alpha asparaginyl hydroxylation regulates recruitment of transcriptional coactivators. The involvement of at least two distinct types of 2-OG-dependent oxygenase in oxygen-regulated transcription suggests that these enzymes may be well suited to a role in cellular oxygen sensing.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date





3041 - 3049


Alternative Splicing, Animals, Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors, Cell Hypoxia, Humans, Hydroxylation, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit, Oxygen, Procollagen-Proline Dioxygenase, Trans-Activators, Transcription Factors, Tumor Suppressor Proteins, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases, Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein