The FIH hydroxylase is a cellular peroxide sensor that modulates HIF transcriptional activity.
Masson N., Singleton RS., Sekirnik R., Trudgian DC., Ambrose LJ., Miranda MX., Tian Y-M., Kessler BM., Schofield CJ., Ratcliffe PJ.
Hypoxic and oxidant stresses can coexist in biological systems, and oxidant stress has been proposed to activate hypoxia pathways through the inactivation of the 'oxygen-sensing' hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl and asparaginyl hydroxylases. Here, we show that despite reduced sensitivity to cellular hypoxia, the HIF asparaginyl hydroxylase--known as FIH, factor inhibiting HIF--is strikingly more sensitive to peroxide than the HIF prolyl hydroxylases. These contrasting sensitivities indicate that oxidant stress is unlikely to signal hypoxia directly to the HIF system, but that hypoxia and oxidant stress can interact functionally as distinct regulators of HIF transcriptional output.