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Title: Genome-wide mapping of the hypoxic response
Author: Schödel, Johannes
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 4619
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Hypoxia regulates many hundreds of genes with important roles in ischemic and neoplastic disorders. Central to this response are the hypoxia inducible transcription factors (HIF). This work aimed to better understand the direct transcriptional response to HIF by mapping HIF-binding sites across the genome using chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq). ChIP-seq for HIF in MCF-7 breast cancer cells under hypoxic conditions revealed more than 400 high-stringency HIF-binding sites genome-wide. Each member of the HIF heterodimer was present with near complete concordance. Binding of the two principle isoforms revealed a high degree of overlap with no differences in the DNA-binding motif. HIF-binding was associated with upregulation, but not downregulation of genes indicating that it functions as a transcriptional activator but not as a repressor. HIF-binding occurred preferentially at gene promoters, but was also present at promoter-distant sites, which were also associated with gene regulation, implicating long-range interactions in hypoxic gene activation. HIF-binding was associated with markers of open chromatin and active enhancers that were present in normoxia, indicating that HIF-binding sites are already “prepared” to bind HIF before the hypoxic stimulus. Analysis of normoxic and hypoxic RNA pol2 and H3K4me3 signals revealed distinctive hypoxia-inducible changes unique to HIF-binding genes. Comparable numbers of HIF-binding sites were observed in a second cell line (von Hippel-Lindau defective 786-O renal cancer cells) as in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, although approximately 65% were unique to 786-O cells. These unique sites were more frequently promoter-distant. Correlation with expression analyses from renal tumours indicated that many HIF-binding genes were upregulated in renal cancer. One such RCC unique promoter-distant HIF-binding site was identified at an intergenic locus on chromosome 11q13.3 that has been associated with renal cancer in Genome-Wide Association Studies. The HIF-binding site was in high linkage disequilibrium with the disease associated SNP and had the epigenetic hallmarks of an enhancer. Analysis of pan-genomic expression analyses identified the cell-cycle regulator cyclin D1 as highly HIF-regulated, and a physical association between the HIF-binding site and the CCND1 promoter could be determined. Furthermore, in a renal cancer cell line heterozygous at this locus, the RCC-protective allele disrupted HIF-binding leading to an allelic imbalance in cyclin D1 expression.
Supervisor: Ratcliffe, Peter J.; Mole, David R.; Schofield, Chris Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Genetics (medical sciences) ; Nephrology ; Hypoxia ; Hypoxia inducible transcription factors ; ChIP-seq ; RNA-seq ; Renal cancer