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REVIEW: The Role of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor in the Mechanisms of Aging

Dzhuliia Sh. Dzhalilova1,a* and Olga V. Makarova1,2

1Avtsyn Research Institute of Human Morphology, Petrovsky National Research Centre of Surgery, 117418 Moscow, Russia

2Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received July 26, 2022; Revised August 17, 2022; Accepted August 17, 2022
Aging is accompanied by a reduction in the oxygen delivery to all organs and tissues and decrease in the oxygen partial pressure in them, resulting in the development of hypoxia. The lack of oxygen activates cell signaling pathway mediated by the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF), which exists in three isoforms – HIF-1, HIF-2, and HIF-3. HIF regulates expression of several thousand genes and is a potential target for the development of new drugs for the treatment of many diseases, including those associated with age. Human organism and organisms of laboratory animals differ in their tolerance to hypoxia and expression of HIF and HIF-dependent genes, which may contribute to the development of inflammatory, tumor, and cardiovascular diseases. Currently, the data on changes in the HIF expression with age are contradictory, which is mostly due to the fact that such studies are conducted in different age groups, cell types, and model organisms, as well as under different hypoxic conditions and mainly in vitro. Furthermore, the observed discrepancies can be due to the individual tolerance of the studied organisms to hypoxia, which is typically not taken into account. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to analyze the published data on the connection between the mechanisms of aging, basal tolerance to hypoxia, and changes in the level of HIF expression with age. Here, we summarized the data on the age-related changes in the hypoxia tolerance, HIF expression and the role of HIF in aging, which is associated with its involvement in the molecular pathways mediated by insulin and IGF-1 (IIS), sirtuins (SIRTs), and mTOR. HIF-1 interacts with many components of the IIS pathway, in particular with FOXO, the activation of which reduces production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increases hypoxia tolerance. Under hypoxic conditions, FOXO is activated via both HIF-dependent and HIF-independent pathways, which contributes to a decrease in the ROS levels. The activity of HIF-1 is regulated by all members of the sirtuin family, except SIRT5, while the mechanisms of SIRT interaction with HIF-2 and HIF-3 are poorly understood. The connection between HIF and mTOR and its inhibitor, AMPK, has been identified, but its exact mechanism has yet to be studied. Understanding the role of HIF and hypoxia in aging and pathogenesis of age-associated diseases is essential for the development of new approaches to the personalized therapy of these diseases, and requires further research.
KEY WORDS: hypoxia tolerance, mechanisms of aging, HIF, age

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297922090115