Evidence for the slow reaction of hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 2 with oxygen

Emily Flashman, Lee M. Hoffart, Refaat B. Hamed, J. Martin Bollinger, Carsten Krebs, Christopher J. Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The response of animals to hypoxia is mediated by the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor. Human hypoxia-inducible factor is regulated by four Fe(II)- and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases: prolyl hydroxylase domain enzymes 1-3 catalyse hydroxylation of two prolyl-residues in hypoxia-inducible factor, triggering its degradation by the proteasome. Factor inhibiting hypoxia-inducible factor catalyses the hydroxylation of an asparagine-residue in hypoxia-inducible factor, inhibiting its transcriptional activity. Collectively, the hypoxia-inducible factor hydroxylases negatively regulate hypoxia-inducible factor in response to increasing oxygen concentration. Prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 is the most important oxygen sensor in human cells; however, the underlying kinetic basis of the oxygen-sensing function of prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 is unclear. We report analyses of the reaction of prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 with oxygen. Chemical quench/MS experiments demonstrate that reaction of a complex of prolyl hydroxylase domain 2, Fe(II), 2-oxoglutarate and the C-terminal oxygen-dependent degradation domain of hypoxia-inducible factor-α with oxygen to form hydroxylated C-terminal oxygen-dependent degradation domain and succinate is much slower (approximately 100-fold) than for other similarly studied 2-oxoglutarate oxygenases. Stopped flow/UV-visible spectroscopy experiments demonstrate that the reaction produces a relatively stable species absorbing at 320 nm; Mössbauer spectroscopic experiments indicate that this species is likely not a Fe(IV)=O intermediate, as observed for other 2-oxoglutarate oxygenases. Overall, the results obtained suggest that, at least compared to other studied 2-oxoglutarate oxygenases, prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 reacts relatively slowly with oxygen, a property that may be associated with its function as an oxygen sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4089-4099
Number of pages11
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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