Erythropoietin (EPO) is the hormonal regulator of red cell production and provided the paradigm for oxygen-regulated gene expression that led to the discovery of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). In this issue of the JCI, Rankin and colleagues show, using targeted gene inactivation, that induction of Epo expression in murine liver is dependent on the integrity of HIF-2α, and not HIF-1α (see the related article beginning on page 1068). These results demonstrate distinct functions for different HIF-α isoforms that could potentially be exploited in therapeutic approaches to anemia.
Peter J. Ratcliffe
HIF activity under hypoxic and normoxic conditions.