Research Papers:

Hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) is a direct regulator of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer

Nina Kozlova _, Marieke Wottawa, Dörthe Magdalena Katschinski, Glen Kristiansen and Thomas Kietzmann

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:9885-9898. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14241

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Nina Kozlova1, Marieke Wottawa2, Dörthe Magdalena Katschinski2, Glen Kristiansen3, Thomas Kietzmann1

1Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland

2Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology, University Medical Center, Georg-August-University Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany

3Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany

Correspondence to:

Nina Kozlova, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, EGFR, PHD2, hypoxia signaling, EGFR-signaling

Received: July 05, 2016     Accepted: December 02, 2016     Published: December 27, 2016


Clinical studies in breast cancer suggest important associations between intratumoral hypoxia, the upregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR or HER1), hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), and reduced patient survival. However, direct molecular links between EGFR and the hypoxia signaling system are not yet established. Since the oxygen sensor hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) is considered to be the main HIF-1α regulator, we hypothesized that PHD2 and EGFR may be interconnected at the molecular level. By analyzing samples from 313 breast cancer patients, we found that EGFR is a first clinicopathological parameter positively correlating with PHD2. Mechanistically, we identified PHD2 as a direct binding partner of EGFR and show that PHD2 regulates EGFR stability as well as its subsequent signaling in breast carcinoma cells. Overall, we introduce for the first time the direct crosstalk between the oxygen sensor PHD2 and EGFR-mediated tumorigenesis in breast cancer.

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