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Biomarker: HIF-1α

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Biological or Clinical Significance:

Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha, also known as HIF-1-alpha, is a subunit of a heterodimeric transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) that is encoded by the HIF1A gene. It is a basic helix-loop-helix PAS domain containing protein, and is considered as the master transcriptional regulator of cellular and developmental response to hypoxia. The dysregulation and overexpression of HIF1A by either hypoxia or genetic alternations have been heavily implicated in cancer biology, specifically in areas of vascularization and angiogenesis, energy metabolism, cell survival, and tumor invasion.

HIF-1 overexpression is heavily implicated in promoting tumor growth and metastasis through its role in initiating angiogenesis and regulating cellular metabolism to overcome hypoxia. The transcription factor HIF-1 plays an important role in cellular response to systemic oxygen levels in mammals. HIF1A activity is regulated by a host of post-translational modifications: hydroxylation, acetylation, and phosphorylation. HIF-1 is known to induce transcription of more than 60 genes, including VEGF and erythropoietin.


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