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HIF-1 Signaling in Drug Resistance to Chemotherapy

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 26 ]


N.A. Warfel and W.S. El-Deiry   Pages 3021 - 3028 ( 8 )


Activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) signaling is observed in a broad range of human cancers due to tumor hypoxia and epigenetic mechanisms. HIF-1 activation leads to the transcription of a plethora of target genes that promote physiological changes associated with therapeutic resistance, including the inhibition of apoptosis and senescence and the activation of drug efflux and cellular metabolism. As a result, targeting HIF-1 represents an attractive strategy to enhance the efficacy of current therapies as well as reduce resistance to chemotherapy in tumors. Approaches to inhibit HIF-1 signaling have primarily focused on reducing HIF-1α protein levels, by inducing its degradation or inhibiting its transcription, inhibiting HIF-1-mediated transcription, or disrupting the formation of the HIF-1 transcription factor complex. To date, multiple preclinical and clinical agents have been identified that effectively inhibit HIF-1 activity through various mechanisms, likely accounting for a portion of their anti-tumor efficacy. This review aims to provide an overview of our current understanding of the role of HIF-1 in therapeutic resistance and discuss the ongoing effort to develop HIF-1 inhibitors as an anti-cancer strategy.


HIF-1, hypoxia-inducible factor-1, hypoxia, therapeutic resistance.


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