Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), the major transcriptional regulator of the mammalian cellular response to low oxygen (hypoxia), is embedded within a complex network of signaling pathways. We have been investigating the importance of another stress-responsive transcription factor, MTF-1, for the adaptation of cells to hypoxia. This article reports that MTF-1 plays a central role in hypoxic cells by contributing to HIF-1 activity. Loss of MTF-1 in transformed Mtf1 null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) results in an attenuation of nuclear HIF-1alpha protein accumulation, HIF-1 transcriptional activity, and expression of an established HIF-1 target gene, glucose transporter-1 (Glut1). Mtf1 null (Mtf1 KO) MEFs also have constitutively higher levels of both glutathione (GSH) and the rate-limiting enzyme involved in GSH synthesis--glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit--than wild type cells. The altered cellular redox state arising from increased GSH may perturb oxygen-sensing mechanisms in hypoxic Mtf1 KO cells and decrease the accumulation of HIF-1alpha protein. Together, these novel findings define a role for MTF-1 in the regulation of HIF-1 activity.