Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is composed of HIF-1alpha and HIF-1beta, and is a master regulator of oxygen homeostasis, playing critical roles in physiological and pathological processes. Normally, the formation and transcriptional activity of HIF-1 depend on the amount of HIF-1alpha, and the expression of HIF-1alpha is tightly controlled by the cellular oxygen tension. Recent progress in the study of its regulation mechanism provided clues as to how HIF-1alpha is regulated by oxygen. It appears that HIF-1alpha is not regulated only by the oxygen tension, but also by various other stimuli, such as transition metals, nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, growth factors, and mechanical stresses. In this review, we summarize the oxygen-dependent and -independent regulation of HIF-1alpha, and the respective physiological and pathological meanings
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