Hypoxic microenvironment is an important stem cell niche. SUMOylation is an important post-translational protein modification and involved in a wide variety of cellular processes. A positive feedback loop between HIF-1α and SENP1 (Specific small ubiquitin-like modifier [SUMO] proteases 1) exists and contributes to the increased cancer stemness in HCC and hepatocarcinogenesis under hypoxia. Drugs that specifically target SENP1 may offer a potential novel therapeutic approach for HCC.
(Chun-Ping Cui et al. – Gut, 3 March 2017)