Cytochrome P450 Drives a HIF-Regulated Behavioral Response to Reoxygenation by C. elegans

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Science  27 Jun 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1235753

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Oxygen deprivation followed by reoxygenation causes pathological responses in many disorders, including ischemic stroke, heart attacks, and reperfusion injury. Key aspects of ischemia-reperfusion can be modeled by a C. elegans behavior, the O2-ON response, which is suppressed by hypoxic preconditioning or inactivation of the O2-sensing HIF (hypoxia-inducible-factor) hydroxylase EGL-9. From a genetic screen, we found that the cytochrome P450 oxygenase CYP-13A12 acts in response to the EGL-9/HIF-1 pathway to facilitate the O2-ON response. CYP-13A12 promotes oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids into eicosanoids, signaling molecules that can strongly affect inflammatory pain and ischemia-reperfusion injury responses in mammals. We propose that roles of the EGL-9/HIF-1 pathway and cytochrome P450 in controlling responses to anoxia-reoxygenation are evolutionarily conserved.

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