Hypoxia-Induced Alterations in Hyaluronan and Hyaluronidase

  • Feng Gao
  • Paul Okunieff
  • Zeqiu Han
  • Ivan Ding
  • Luping Wang
  • Weimin Liu
  • Jiaying Zhang
  • Shanmin Yang
  • Jinguo Chen
  • Charles B. Underhill
  • Sunghee Kim
  • Lurong Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 566)


Hyaluronan (HA), a large negatively-charged polysaccharide, is a major component of vessel basal membrane. HA is expressed by a variety of cells, including tumor and endothelial cells. We hypothesized that HA could be up-regulated by hypoxia to enhance vessel formation. To determine the effect of hypoxia on the production of HA, tumor cells were treated with either media alone (control) or a hypoxia inducer (CoCl or NaN3) for 24 h. The level of HA in the media was then measured by ELISA. The results showed that both CoCl and NaN3 induced the production of HA. Since the low molecular weight form of HA (SMW) possesses pro-angiogenic properties, we investigated whether hypoxia-induced HA can be processed into SMW. Under hypoxic conditions, the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme responsible for degrading HA, was measured by an ELISA-like assay. The activity of hyaluronidase was shown to be up-regulated by hypoxia and, further, could carry out the function of processing HA into SMW. In addition, the hypoxic areas of tumor tissues were stained strongly with biotinylated HA-binding proteins, indicating that the level of HA was high compared to the oxic areas. This study demonstrates that hypoxia can stimulate the production of HA and the activity of hyaluronidase, which may promote angiogenesis as a compensation mechanism for hypoxia.


Hyaluronic Acid T47D Cell Hypoxic Area Human Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Vessel Basal Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feng Gao
  • Paul Okunieff
  • Zeqiu Han
  • Ivan Ding
  • Luping Wang
  • Weimin Liu
  • Jiaying Zhang
  • Shanmin Yang
  • Jinguo Chen
  • Charles B. Underhill
  • Sunghee Kim
  • Lurong Zhang

There are no affiliations available

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