Endocrine targets of hypoxia-inducible factors

    1. Shaw-Jenq Tsai1,2
    1. 1Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
    2. 2Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to S-J Tsai; Email: seantsai{at}mail.ncku.edu.tw


    Endocrine is an important and tightly regulated system for maintaining body homeostasis. Endocrine glands produce hormones, which are released into blood stream to guide the target cells responding to all sorts of stimulations. For maintaining body homeostasis, the secretion and activity of a particular hormone needs to be adjusted in responding to environmental challenges such as changes in nutritional status or chronic stress. Hypoxia, a status caused by reduced oxygen availability or imbalance of oxygen consumption/supply in an organ or within a cell, is a stress that affects many physiological and pathological processes. Hypoxic stress in endocrine organs is especially critical because endocrine glands control body homeostasis. Local hypoxia affects not only the particular gland but also the downstream cells/organs regulated by hormones secreted from this gland. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are transcription factors that function as master regulators of oxygen homeostasis. Recent studies report that aberrant expression of HIFs in endocrine organs may result in the development and/or progression of diseases including diabetes, endometriosis, infertility and cancers. In this article, we will review recent findings in HIF-mediated endocrine organ dysfunction and the systemic syndromes caused by these disorders.

    • Received 18 April 2017
    • Accepted 28 April 2017
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 28 April 2017
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