Hypoxia induces a glycolytic complex in intestinal epithelial cells independent of HIF-1-driven glycolytic gene expression

Sarah J Kierans, Raphael R Fagundes, Mykyta I Malkov, Ríona Sparkes, Eugène T Dillon, Albert Smolenski, Klaas Nico Faber, Cormac T Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


The metabolic adaptation of eukaryotic cells to hypoxia involves increasing dependence upon glycolytic adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, an event with consequences for cellular bioenergetics and cell fate. This response is regulated at the transcriptional level by the hypoxia-inducible factor-1(HIF-1)-dependent transcriptional upregulation of glycolytic enzymes (GEs) and glucose transporters. However, this transcriptional upregulation alone is unlikely to account fully for the levels of glycolytic ATP produced during hypoxia. Here, we investigated additional mechanisms regulating glycolysis in hypoxia. We observed that intestinal epithelial cells treated with inhibitors of transcription or translation and human platelets (which lack nuclei and the capacity for canonical transcriptional activity) maintained the capacity for hypoxia-induced glycolysis, a finding which suggests the involvement of a nontranscriptional component to the hypoxia-induced metabolic switch to a highly glycolytic phenotype. In our investigations into potential nontranscriptional mechanisms for glycolytic induction, we identified a hypoxia-sensitive formation of complexes comprising GEs and glucose transporters in intestinal epithelial cells. Surprisingly, the formation of such glycolytic complexes occurs independent of HIF-1-driven transcription. Finally, we provide evidence for the presence of HIF-1α in cytosolic fractions of hypoxic cells which physically interacts with the glucose transporter GLUT1 and the GEs in a hypoxia-sensitive manner. In conclusion, we provide insights into the nontranscriptional regulation of hypoxia-induced glycolysis in intestinal epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2208117120
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 29-Aug-2023


  • Humans
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Glycolysis/genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Gene Expression
  • Glucose


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