Li, Y, et al., Hif- and Non-Hif-Regulated Hypoxic Responses Require the Estrogen-Related Receptor in Drosophila Melanogaster. PLOS Genetics, 2013. 9(1): e1003230.


Low-oxygen tolerance is supported by an adaptive response that includes a coordinate shift in metabolism and the activation of a transcriptional program that is driven by the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. The precise contribution of HIF-1a in the adaptive response, however, has not been determined. Here, we investigate how HIF influences hypoxic adaptation throughout Drosophila melanogaster development. We find that hypoxic-induced transcriptional changes are comprised of HIF-dependent and HIF-independent pathways that are distinct and separable. We show that normoxic set-points of carbohydrate metabolites are significantly altered in sima mutants and that these animals are unable to mobilize glycogen in hypoxia. Furthermore, we find that the estrogen-related receptor (dERR), which is a global regulator of aerobic glycolysis in larvae, is required for a competent hypoxic response. dERR binds to dHIFa and participates in the HIF-dependent transcriptional program in hypoxia. In addition, dERR acts in the absence of dHIFa in hypoxia and a significant portion of HIF-independent transcriptional responses can be attributed to dERR actions, including upregulation of glycolytic transcripts. These results indicate that competent hypoxic responses arise from complex interactions between HIF-dependent and -independent mechanisms, and that dERR plays a central role in both of these programs.

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