Hypoxia induces profound changes in the cellular gene expression profile. The discovery of a major transcription factor family activated by hypoxia, HIF (hypoxia-inducible factor), and the factors that contribute to HIF regulation have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the molecular aspects of the hypoxic response. However, in addition to HIF, other transcription factors and cellular pathways are activated by exposure to reduced oxygen. In the present review, we summarize the current knowledge of how additional hypoxia-responsive transcription factors integrate with HIF and how other cellular pathways such as chromatin remodelling, translation regulation and microRNA induction, contribute to the co-ordinated cellular response observed following hypoxic stress.

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