Hypoxia contributes to the maintenance of stem-like cells in glioblastoma (GBM), and activates vascular mimicry and tumor resistance to anti-angiogenesis treatments. The present study examined the expression patterns and biological significance of hypoxia-inducible protein 2 (HIG2, also known as HILPDA) in GBM. HIG2 was highly expressed in gliomas and was correlated with tumor grade, and high HIG2 expression independently predicted poor GBM patient prognosis. HIG2 was upregulated during hypoxia and by hypoxia mimics, and HIG2 knockdown in GBM cells inhibited cell proliferation and invasion. HIF1a bound to the HIG2 promoter and increased its expression in GBM cells, and HIG2 upregulated HIF1a expression. Reconstruction of a HIG2-related molecular network using bioinformatics methods revealed that HIG2 is closely correlated with angiogenesis genes, such as VEGFA, in GBM. HIG2 levels positively correlated with VEGFA in GBM samples. In addition, treatment of transplanted xenograft nude mice with bevacizumab (anti-angiogenesis therapy) resulted in HIG2 upregulation at late stages. We conclude that HIG2 is overexpressed in GBM and upregulated by hypoxia, and is a potential novel therapeutic target. HIG2 overexpression is an independent prognostic indicator and may promote tumor resistance to anti-angiogenesis treatments.
Mao, X., Wang, C., Liu, D., Zhang, X., Wang, L., Yan, M., … Xue, X. (2016). Hypoxia upregulates HIG2 expression and contributes to bevacizumab resistance in glioblastoma. Oncotarget, 7(30). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10029