Knockdown of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha reduces proliferation, induces apoptosis and attenuates the aggressive phenotype of retinoblastoma WERI-Rb-1 cells under hypoxic conditions
Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) plays a critical role in tumor cell adaption to hypoxia by inducing the transcription of numerous genes. The role of HIF-1α in malignant retinoblastoma remains unclear. We analyzed the role of HIF-1α in WERI-Rb-1 retinoblastoma cells under hypoxic conditions. CoCl2 (125 mmol/L) was added to the culture media to mimic hypoxia. HIF-1α was silenced using siRNA. Gene and protein expression were measured by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. Cell
... tern blotting. Cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. Cell proliferation, adhesion and invasion were assayed using MTT, Transwell invasion, and cell adhesion assays respectively. Hypoxia significantly upregulated HIF-1α protein expression and the HIF-1α target genes VEGF, GLUT1, and Survivin mRNA. HIF-1α mRNA expression was not affected by hypoxia. Transfection of the siRNA expression plasmid pRNAT-CMV3.2/Neo-HIF-1α silenced HIF-1α by approximately 80% in hypoxic WERI-Rb-1 cells. The knockdown of HIF-1α under hypoxic conditions downregulated VEGF, GLUT1, and Survivin mRNA. It also inhibited proliferation, promoted apoptosis, induced the G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest, and reduced the adhesion and invasion of WERI-Rb-1 cells. HIF-1α plays a major role in the survival and aggressive phenotype of retinoblastoma cells under hypoxic conditions. Targeting HIF-1α may be a promising therapeutic strategy for human malignant retinoblastoma.