Preferential elevation of Prx I and Trx expression in lung cancer cells following hypoxia and in human lung cancer tissues

H. J. Kim, H. Z. Chae, Y. J. Kim, Y. H. Kim, T. S. Hwang, E. M. Park, Young Mee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Transient/chronic microenvironmental hypoxia that exists within a majority of solid tumors has been suggested to have a profound influence on tumor growth and therapeutic outcome. Since the functions of novel antioxidant proteins, peroxiredoxin I (Prx I) and II, have been implicated in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, it was of our special interest to probe a possible role of Prx I and II in the context of hypoxic tumor microenvironment. Since both Prx I and II use thioredoxin (Trx) as an electron donor and Trx is a substrate for thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), we investigated the regulation of Trx and TrxR as well as Prx expression following hypoxia. Here we show a dynamic change of glutathione homeostasis in lung cancer A549 cells and an upregulation of Prx I and Trx following hypoxia. Western blot analysis of 10 human lung cancer and paired normal lung tissues also revealed an elevated expression of Prx I and Trx proteins in lung cancer tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis of the lung cancer tissues confirmed an augmented Prx I and Trx expression in cancer cells with respect to the parenchymal cells in adjacent normal lung tissue. Based on these results, we suggest that the redox changes in lung tumor microenvironment could have acted as a trigger for the up-regulation of Prx I and Trx in lung cancer cells. Although the clinical significance of our finding awaits more rigorous future study, preferential augmentation of the Prx I and Trx in lung cancer cells may well represent an attempt of cancer cells to manipulate a dynamic redox change in tumor microenvironment in a manner that is beneficial for their proliferation and malignant progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-298
Number of pages14
JournalCell Biology and Toxicology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Dr Dick Mosser (U. of Guelph, Canada) for the critical reading of the manuscript and to Ms Soo-Yeon Park for her excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by a grant from Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.


  • Hypoxia
  • Lung cancer
  • Oxidative stress
  • Peroxiredoxin
  • Thioredoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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