PRDX2 and PRDX4 are negative regulators of hypoxia-inducible factors under conditions of prolonged hypoxia

Weibo Luo, Ivan Chen, Yan Chen, Duah Alkam, Yingfei Wang, Gregg L. Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) control the transcription of genes that are crucial for the pathogenesis of cancer and other human diseases. The transcriptional activity of HIFs is rapidly increased upon exposure to hypoxia, but expression of some HIF target genes decreases during prolonged hypoxia. However, the underlying mechanism for feedback inhibition is not completely understood. Here, we report that peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX2) and PRDX4 interact with HIF-1a and HIF-2a in vitro and in hypoxic HeLa cells. Prolonged hypoxia increases the nuclear translocation of PRDX2 and PRDX4. As a result, PRDX2 and PRDX4 impair HIF-1 and HIF-2 binding to the hypoxia response elements of a subset of HIF target genes, thereby inhibiting gene transcription in cells exposed to prolonged hypoxia. PRDX2 and PRDX4 have no effect on the recruitment of p300 and RNA polymerase II to HIF target genes and the enzymatic activity of PRDX2 and PRDX4 is not required for inhibition of HIF-1 and HIF-2. We also demonstrate that PRDX2 is a direct HIF target gene and that PRDX2 expression is induced by prolonged hypoxia. These findings uncover a novel feedback mechanism for inhibition of HIF transcriptional activity under conditions of prolonged hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6379-6397
Number of pages19
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016


  • HIFs
  • PRDX2
  • PRDX4
  • Transcriptional corepressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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