Iron or oxygen regulates the stability of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). We investigated whether ferrous glycinate would affect HIF-1α accumulation, aerobic glycolysis and mitochondrial energy metabolism in human A549 lung cancer cells. Incubation of A549 cells with ferrous glycinate decreased the protein levels of HIF-1α, which was abrogated by proteosome inhibitor, or prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor. Addition of ferrous glycinate decreased protein levels of glucose transporter-1, hexokinase-2, and lactate dehydrogenase A, and decreased pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-1 (PDK-1) and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) phosphorylation in A549 cells. Ferrous glycinate also increased expression of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), and the mitochondrial protein, cytochrome c oxidase (COX-IV). Silencing of HIF-1α expression mimicked the effects of ferrous glycinate on PDK-1, PDH, TFAM and COX-IV in A549 cells. Ferrous glycinate increased mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production in A549 cells. These results suggest that ferrous glycinate may reverse Warburg effect through down regulating HIF-1α in A549 cells.
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