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Hypoxia. 2. Hypoxia Regulates Cellular Metabolism

William W. Wheaton, Navdeep S. Chandel

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Adaptation to lowering oxygen levels (hypoxia) requires coordinated downregulation of metabolic demand and supply to prevent a mismatch in ATP utilization and production that might culminate in a bioenergetic collapse. Hypoxia diminishes ATP utilization by downregulating protein translation and the activity of the Na-K-ATPase. Hypoxia diminishes ATP production in part by lowering the activity of the electron transport chain through activation of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1. The decrease in electron transport limits the overproduction of reactove oxygen species during hypoxia and slows the rate of oxygen depletion to prevent anoxia. In this review, we discuss these mechanisms that diminish metabolic supply and demand for adaptation to hypoxia.