Genetic Analysis of Neuronal Hypoxia Resistance

Project Details

Description

PROJECT SUMMARY Hypoxia (O2 deprivation) plays a central role in diverse human diseases, including ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary hypertension, Cerebral Palsy, COVID-19, and cancer. Metazoans respond to hypoxia by employing the conserved hypoxia response pathway. The pathway senses O2 through a prolyl hydroxylase (PHD) enzyme, which uses O2 to hydroxylate specific proline side chains on the Hypoxia Inducible Factor ? (HIF?). Once hydroxylated, HIF? is ubiquitinated by the Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) ubiquitin ligase, resulting in its proteolysis. When O2 is abundant, HIF? is unstable. When hypoxia ensues, PHD enzymes lack O2 to hydroxylate HIF?, resulting in HIF? stabilization and the transcriptional regulation of multiple target genes that help the organism survive. Under some circumstances (e.g., solid tumors, stem cell niches), HIF? is activated despite adequate O2 levels (i.e., the Warburg effect), but how the response differs under aerobic conditions is unclear. While the HIF? pathway has been well studied in tissue culture, a full understanding of how it operates in specific tissues (particularly neurons) in vivo to provide tailored responses is needed. This proposal takes advantage of genetics and an intact, isogenic model organism (C. elegans) that can thrive under hypoxia, and whose environment and genetics can be controlled with fidelity and reproducibility. C. elegans possess single genes for the PHD (EGL-9), the VHL (VHL-1), and the HIF? (HIF-1). The overall premise of this proposal is that the hypoxia response pathway pathway protects against hypoxic damage by (1) removing mitochondria through mitophagy, which eliminates a source of ROS, and by (2) mobilizing antioxidant metabolism, which detoxifies ROS during hypoxia and reoxygenation. A better understanding of the pathway response will provide therapeutic targets for diseases associated with hypoxia. Preliminary ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, and metabolomics suggest that HIF-1 promotes gluconeogenesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and antioxidant generation. We hypothesize that HIF-1 promotes this metabolic reprograming by binding an enhancer sequence and activating the expression of the PEP carboxykinase pck- 1, a key enzyme for moving metabolites through gluconeogenesis. Aim 1 tests this hypothesis by using CRISPR/Cas9 editing to remove this enhancer, then testing for the effects on HIF-1 binding, pck-1 and global gene expression, metabolism, oxidative stress resistance, neurodegeneration, and hypoxia survival. Preliminary cell biological approaches with a genetically encoded fluorescent reporter for mitophagy suggest that HIF-1 promotes mitophagy. We hypothesize that HIF-1 promotes mitophagy by binding enhancer sequences and activating the expression of the mitophagy receptors fndc-1 and dct-1. Aim 2 tests this hypothesis by using CRISPR/Cas9 editing to remove these enhancers, then testing for the effects on HIF- 1 binding, global gene expression, mitophagy and bulk autophagy, metabolism, oxidative stress resistance, neurodegeneration, and hypoxia survival.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/15/127/31/22

Funding

  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $275,050.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $356,128.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $322,360.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $370,048.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $305,796.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $322,396.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $49,217.00
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: $282,976.00

ASJC

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

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