Hypoxia and metabolism. Hypoxia, DNA repair and genetic instability

Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Mar;8(3):180-92. doi: 10.1038/nrc2344.


Areas of hypoxic tumour tissue are known to be resistant to treatment and are associated with a poor clinical prognosis. There are several reasons why this might be, including the capacity of hypoxia to drive genomic instability and alter DNA damage repair pathways. Significantly, current models fail to distinguish between the complexities of the hypoxic microenvironment and the biological effects of acute hypoxia exposures versus longer-term, chronic hypoxia exposures on the transcription and translation of proteins involved in genetic stability and cell survival. Acute and chronic hypoxia might lead to different biology within the tumour and this might have a direct effect on the design of new therapies for the treatment of hypoxic tumours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Transcription, Genetic