Targeting HIF-activated collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylase expression disrupts collagen deposition and blocks primary and metastatic uveal melanoma growth

Academic Article


  • Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most prevalent primary intraocular malignancy in adults, and patients that develop metastases (~50%) survive <1 year, highlighting the urgent need for new therapies. TCGA has recently revealed that a hypoxia gene signature is associated with poor UM patient prognosis. Here we show that expression of hypoxia-regulated collagen prolyl-4-hydroxylase genes P4HA1 and P4HA2 is significantly upregulated in UM patients with metastatic disease and correlates with poor prognosis, suggesting these enzymes might be key tumor drivers. We targeted hypoxia-induced expression of P4HA1/2 in UM with KCN1, a hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) pathway inhibitor and found potent inhibition of primary and metastatic disease and extension of animal survival, without overt side effects. At the molecular level, KCN1 antagonized hypoxia-induced expression of P4HA1 and P4HA2, which regulate collagen maturation and deposition in the extracellular matrix. The treatment decreased prolyl hydroxylation, induced proteolytic cleavage and rendered a disordered structure to collagen VI, the main collagen produced by UM, and reduced UM cell invasion. Together, these data demonstrate that extracellular collagen matrix formation can be targeted in UM by inhibiting hypoxia-induced P4HA1 and P4HA2 expression, warranting further development of this strategy in patients with uveal melanoma.
  • Published In

  • Oncogene  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kaluz S; Zhang Q; Kuranaga Y; Yang H; Osuka S; Bhattacharya D; Devi NS; Mun J; Wang W; Zhang R
  • Start Page

  • 5182
  • End Page

  • 5191
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 33