ELL is an HIF-1alpha partner that regulates and responds to hypoxia response in PC3 cells

Prostate. 2010 May 15;70(7):797-805. doi: 10.1002/pros.21113.


Background: Eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukemia (ELL) plays an important role in tumorigenesis and animal development. HIF-1 is a transcriptional factor that functions as a master regulator of O(2) homeostasis. Our previous studies showed that a binding partner of ELL, U19/Eaf2, can modulate HIF-1alpha activity and hypoxia response, suggesting that ELL may also influence HIF-1alpha pathway and hypoxia response.

Methods: Co-localization and co-immunoprecipitation were performed to test the interaction between ELL and HIF-1alpha. PC3 cells with stable ELL knockdown and PC3 cells with stable ELL overexpression, along with their controls, were established using lentiviral expression system. Western blot and real-time PCR were performed to test the effect of ELL on HIF-1alpha protein and its down-stream gene transcription. To elucidate potential effect of hypoxia on ELL, cell growth and colony formation assays were performed using PC3 subline with stable ELL overexpression.

Results: ELL is associated with HIF-1alpha in transfected cells. In PC3 prostate cancer cells, ELL inhibited HIF-1alpha protein level and down-stream gene expression. As expected, ELL inhibited cell growth and colony formation under normoxia. Interestingly, the inhibition was alleviated under hypoxia.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that ELL and HIF-1alpha are binding partners and can modulate the functions of each other in hypoxia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / genetics
  • Hypoxia / metabolism*
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / genetics
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism*
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Male
  • Prostate / cytology
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / genetics
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • ELL protein, human
  • HIF1A protein, human
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors