2-Oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases control hepcidin gene expression

Georgia G. Braliou, Maria Vittoria Verga Falzacappa, Georgia Chachami, Guillem Casanovas, Martina U. Muckenthaler, George Simos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Hepcidin is a liver-produced hormone that regulates systemic iron homeostasis. Hepcidin expression is stimulated upon iron overload or inflammation while iron deficiency, anemia and tissue hypoxia are negative regulators. We investigated the involvement of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases, HIF-1 and other transcription factors in the hypoxic suppression of hepcidin. Methods: Northern blotting analysis and real time PCR were used to determine hepcidin mRNA levels in hepatoma cells and hepcidin promoter activity was measured using Huh7 cells transfected with suitable reporter constructs under various conditions. Results: Treatment of human cultured hepatoma cells with hypoxia or known inhibitors of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases, such as the iron chelator desferrioxamine, cobalt or the 2-oxoglutarate analogue dimethyl-oxalylglycine significantly reduced hepcidin mRNA levels and down-regulated its gene promoter activity. This effect was not dependent on the HREs or other known putative response elements in the hepcidin promoter and was observed even under interleukin-6 treatment. Conclusions: 2-Oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases are important to maintain high hepcidin mRNA expression in a HIF-1-independent manner. We suggest that modulation of oxygenase activity may be of therapeutic value in iron-related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-810
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • 2-Oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases
  • Cobalt
  • DFO
  • DMOG
  • Hepcidin
  • HIF-1
  • Hypoxia
  • IL-6
  • Protein hydroxylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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