Hypoxia response and microRNAs: no longer two separate worlds

J Cell Mol Med. Sep-Oct 2008;12(5A):1426-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00398.x. Epub 2008 Jul 8.


MicroRNAs (miRs) are short non-coding transcripts involved in a wide variety of cellular processes. Several recent studies have established a link between hypoxia, a well-documented component of the tumour microenvironment, and specific miRs. One member of this class, miR-210, was identified as hypoxia inducible in all the cell types tested, and is overexpressed in most cancer types. Its hypoxic induction is dependent on a functional hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), thus extending the transcriptional repertoire of the latter beyond 'classic' genes. From a clinical standpoint, miR-210 overexpression has been associated with adverse prognosis in breast tumours and been detected in serum of lymphoma patients and could serve as a tool to define hypoxic malignancies. We discuss the role of miR-210 and its emerging targets, as well as possible future directions for clinical applications in oncology and ischaemic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / genetics*
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • MicroRNAs
  • Transcription Factors