, Volume 37, Issue 12, pp 2659-2666
Date: 19 Sep 2012

The Roles of Hypoxia-Inducible Factors in Regulating Neural Stem Cells Migration to Glioma Stem Cells and Determinating Their Fates

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The mortality of patients with malignant gliomas remains high despite the advancement in multi-modal therapy including surgery, radio- and chemotherapy. Glioma stem cells (GSCs), sharing some characteristics with normal neural stem cells (NSCs), contribute to the cellular origin for primary gliomas and the recurrence of malignant gliomas after current conventional therapy. Accordingly, targeting GSCs proves to be a promising avenue of therapeutic intervention. The specific tropism of NSCs to GSCs provides a novel platform for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents. Tropism and mobilization of NSCs are enhanced by hypoxia through upregulating chemotactic cytokines and activating several signaling pathways. Moreover, hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) produced under hypoxic microenvironment of the stem cell niche play critical roles in the growth and stemness phenotypes regulation of both NSCs and GSCs. However, the definite cellular and molecular mechanisms of HIFs involvement in the process remain obscure. In this review, we focus on the pivotal roles of HIFs in migration of NSCs to GSCs and potential roles of HIFs in dictating the fates of migrated NSCs and targeted GSCs.