IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 8 / DOI: 10.2741/2892

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Prolyl 4-hydroxylase activity-responsive transcription factors: from hydroxylation to gene expression and neuroprotection
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1 Burke Medical Research Institute, White Plains, New York 10605
2 Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weil Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021
3 Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, Urbana, IL

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(8), 2875–2887;
Published: 1 January 2008

Most homeostatic processes including gene transcription occur as a result of deviations in physiological tone that threatens the survival of the organism. A prototypical homeostatic stress response includes changes in gene expression following alterations in oxygen, iron or 2-oxoglutarate levels. Each of these cofactors plays an important role in cellular metabolism. Accordingly, a family of enzymes known as the Prolyl 4-hydroxylase (PHD) enzymes are a group of dioxygenases that have evolved to sense changes in 2-oxoglutarate, oxygen and iron via changes in enzyme activity. Indeed, PHDs are a part of an established oxygen sensor system that regulates transcriptional regulation of hypoxia/stress-regulated genes and thus are an important component of events leading to cellular rescue from oxygen, iron or 2-oxoglutarate deprivations. The ability of PHD activity to regulate homeostatic responses to oxygen, iron or 2-oxoglutarate metabolism has led to the development of small molecule inhibitors of the PHDs as a strategy for activating or augmenting cellular stress responses. These small molecules are proving effective in preclinical models of stroke and Parkinson's disease. However the precise protective pathways engaged by PHD inhibition are only beginning to be defined. In the current review, we summarize the role of iron, 2-oxoglutarate and oxygen in the PHD catalyzed hydroxylation reaction and provide a brief discussion of some of the transcription factors that play an effective role in neuroprotection against oxidative stress as a result of changes in PHD activity.

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