Hypoxia, a common feature of solid tumors, greatly hinders the efficacy of conventional cancer treatments such as chemo-, radio-, and immunotherapy. The depletion of oxygen in proliferat-ing and advanced tumors causes an array of genetic, transcriptional, and metabolic adaptations that promote survival, metastasis, and a clinically malignant phenotype. At the nexus of these interconnected pathways are hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) which orchestrate transcriptional responses under hypoxia. The following review summarizes current literature regarding effects of hypoxia on DNA repair, metastasis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, the cancer stem cell phenotype, and therapy resistance. We also discuss mechanisms and pathways, such as HIF signaling, mitochon-drial dynamics, exosomes, and the unfolded protein response, that contribute to hypoxia-induced phenotypic changes. Finally, novel therapeutics that target the hypoxic tumor microenvironment or interfere with hypoxia-induced pathways are reviewed.
- Hypoxia-inducible factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas