REST is a hypoxia-responsive transcriptional repressor

Miguel A.S. Cavadas, Marion Mesnieres, Bianca Crifo, Mario C. Manresa, Andrew C. Selfridge, Ciara E. Keogh, Zsolt Fabian, Carsten C. Scholz, Karen A. Nolan, Liliane M.A. Rocha, Murtaza Tambuwala, Stuart Brown, Anita Wdowicz, Danielle Corbett, Keith J Murphy, Catherine Godson, Eoin P. Cummins, Cormac T. Taylor, Alex Cheong

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Cellular exposure to hypoxia results in altered gene expression in a range of physiologic and pathophysiologic states. Discrete cohorts of genes can be either up- or down-regulated in response to hypoxia. While the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) is the primary driver of hypoxia-induced adaptive gene expression, less is known about the signalling mechanisms regulating hypoxia dependent gene repression. Using RNA-seq, we demonstrate that equivalent numbers of genes are induced and repressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. We demonstrate that nuclear localization of the Repressor Element 1-Silencing Transcription factor (REST) is induced in hypoxia and that REST is responsible for regulating approximately 20% of the hypoxia-repressed genes. Using chromatin immuno precipitation assays we demonstrate that REST-dependent gene repression is at least in part mediated by direct binding to the promoters of target genes. Based on these data, we propose that REST is a key mediator of gene repression in hypoxia .
Original languageEnglish
Article number31355 (2016)
Number of pages22
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Aug 2016


  • Hypoxia
  • Repressor
  • REST
  • transcription.


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