Multiple splice variants of the human HIF-3α locus are targets of the von Hippel-Lindau E3 ubiquitin ligase complex

Mindy A. Maynard, Heng Qi, Jacky Chung, Eric H.L. Lee, Yukihiro Kondo, Shuntaro Hara, Ronald C. Conaway, Joan W. Conaway, Michael Ohh

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234 Scopus citations


Functional inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein is the cause of familial VHL disease and sporadic kidney cancer. The VHL gene product (pVHL) is a component of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1 and 2 α subunits for polyubiquitylation. This process is dependent on the hydroxylation of conserved proline residues on the a subunits of HIF-1/2 in the presence of oxygen. In our effort to identify orphan HIF-like proteins in the data base that are potential targets of the pVHL complex, we report multiple splice variants of the human HIF-3α locus as follows: hHIF-3α1, hHIF-3α2 (also referred to as hIPAS; human inhibitory PAS domain protein), hHIF-3α3, hHIF-3α4, hHIF-3α5, and hHIF-3α6. We demonstrate that the common oxygen-dependent degradation domain of hHIF-3α1-3 splice variants is targeted for ubiquitylation by the pVHL complex in vitro and in vivo. This activity is enhanced in the presence of prolyl hydroxylase and is dependent on a proline residue at position 490. Furthermore, the ubiquitin conjugation occurs on lysine residues at position 465 and 568 within the oxygen-dependent degradation domain. These results demonstrate additional targets of the pVHL complex and suggest a growing complexity in the regulation of hypoxia-inducible genes by the HIF family of transcription factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11032-11040
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 28 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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