Hypoxic induction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human epithelial cells is mediated by increases in mRNA stability

FEBS Lett. 1995 Aug 21;370(3):203-8. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(95)00831-s.


Vessel growth is often associated with ischemia. VEGF, a potent angiogenic factor, has been shown to be induced by low oxygen concentrations. These studies were conducted to investigate the molecular basis of the hypoxia-induced increase in VEGF mRNA. Run-on analysis of VEGF revealed a minimal increase in the rate of gene transcription in a human retinal epithelial cell line grown under hypoxic conditions. Examination of VEGF mRNA stability revealed that the half-life of VEGF transcripts under normoxia was short, 30-45 min, but was dramatically increased to 6-8 h in cells grown under hypoxia. Cobalt chloride, which elevates VEGF and has been suggested to be similar to hypoxia in its mechanism of action, had only a slight effect on decay rate. We postulate that hypoxia-induced increases in mRNA stability provide the sustained increases in VEGF mRNA levels necessary to support a neovascular response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Stability
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / metabolism*
  • Lymphokines / genetics*
  • Lymphokines / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry*
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors