Hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factors in kidney injury and repair

Shaoqun Shu, Ying Wang, Meiling Zheng, Zhiwen Liu, Juan Cai, Chengyuan Tang, Zheng Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a major kidney disease characterized by an abrupt loss of renal function. Accumulating evidence indicates that incomplete or maladaptive repair after AKI can result in kidney fibrosis and the development and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Hypoxia, a condition of insufficient supply of oxygen to cells and tissues, occurs in both acute and chronic kidney diseases under a variety of clinical and experimental conditions. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are the “master” transcription factors responsible for gene expression in hypoxia. Recent researches demonstrate that HIFs play an important role in kidney injury and repair by regulating HIF target genes, including microRNAs. However, there are controversies regarding the pathological roles of HIFs in kidney injury and repair. In this review, we describe the regulation, expression, and functions of HIFs, and their target genes and related functions. We also discuss the involvement of HIFs in AKI and kidney repair, presenting HIFs as effective therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number207
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • HIF
  • Hypoxia
  • Kidney injury
  • Kidney repair
  • Prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein (PHD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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