Lipid metabolic reprogramming by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in the hypoxic tumour microenvironment

Jieun Seo, Jeong Eun Yun, Sung Joon Kim, Yang Sook Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cancer cells rewire metabolic processes to adapt to the nutrient- and oxygen-deprived tumour microenvironment, thereby promoting their proliferation and metastasis. Previous research has shown that modifying glucose metabolism, the Warburg effect, makes glycolytic cancer cells more invasive and aggressive. Lipid metabolism has also been receiving attention because lipids function as energy sources and signalling molecules. Because obesity is a risk factor for various cancer types, targeting lipid metabolism may be a promising cancer therapy. Here, we review the lipid metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). HIF-1 is the master transcription factor for tumour growth and metastasis by transactivating genes related to proliferation, survival, angiogenesis, invasion, and metabolism. The glucose metabolic shift (the Warburg effect) is mediated by HIF-1. Recent research on HIF-1-related lipid metabolic reprogramming in cancer has confirmed that HIF-1 also modifies lipid accumulation, β-oxidation, and lipolysis in cancer, triggering its progression. Therefore, targeting lipid metabolic alterations by HIF-1 has therapeutic potential for cancer. We summarize the role of the lipid metabolic shift mediated by HIF-1 in cancer and its putative applications for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-601
Number of pages11
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Cancer therapy
  • Hypoxia-inducible factor-1
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Tumour microenvironment


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