Wound and subsequent healing are frequently associated with hypoxia. and the induction was more evident in hypoxia. Nevertheless HIF-1α-null and wild-type cells healed similarly after scratch wounding. Moreover activation of HIF-1α with dimethyloxalylglycine in normoxic cells did not suppress wound healing negating a major role of HIF-1α in wound healing in this model. Scratch-wound healing was also associated with glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β)/β-catenin signaling which was further enhanced by hypoxia. Pharmacological inhibition of GSK3β resulted in β-catenin expression accompanied by the suppression of wound healing and transwell cell migration. Ectopic expression of β-catenin in normoxic cells could also suppress wound healing mimicking the effect of hypoxia. Conversely inhibition of β-catenin via dominant negative mutants or short hairpin RNA improved wound healing and transwell migration in hypoxic cells. The results suggest that GSK3β/β-catenin signaling may contribute to defective wound healing in hypoxic renal cells and tissues. Introduction Wound healing in tissues and organs is characterized by hypoxia a condition of decreased availability of oxygen. Hypoxia in wounded tissues is caused in part by the vascular damage and CHC decreased blood supply but also in a large part by the O2 consumption of the cells in the wound that are metabolically activated for migration proliferation and wound healing (Tandara and Mustoe 2004 Under this condition hypoxia contributes to CHC the stimulation of the angiogenesis and tissue remodeling by activating a myriad of signaling pathways and inducing key transcription factors such as hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) (Tandara and Mustoe 2004 In wounded skin hypoxia has also been shown to promote the migration of keratinocytes for restoration of the epithelium (Benizri et al. 2008 However whether and how hypoxia affects wound healing in parenchymal cells in injured organs such as the kidneys is unknown. HIF is a family CHC of transcription factors that are induced by hypoxia to regulate gene expression (Semenza 2007 Recent studies have further revealed HIF activation by nonhypoxic conditions or stimuli. HIF consists of α and β subunits. HIFβ is constitutively expressed whereas HIFα is hydroxylated at several proline and asparagine sites in the presence of oxygen targeting it for von Hippel-Lindau-mediated ubiquitination and proteosomal degradation. In hypoxia the lack of oxygen prevents HIFα hydroxylation and degradation leading to HIFα accumulation and dimerization with HIFβ to form a functional transcription factor (Semenza 2007 Kaelin and Ratcliffe 2008 Pharmacological inhibitors of HIFα prolyl hydroxylase such as dimethyloxaloylglycine (DMOG) can suppress HIFα hydroxylation and induce HIFα under normoxia. During ischemia-reperfusion an in vivo condition of hypoxia HIF family members are induced to regulate tissue repair and remodeling. In kidneys HIF-1 is induced in renal tubules whereas HIF-2 is expressed by interstitial cells (Rosenberger et al. 2002 Sutton et al. 2008 Although HIF induction has been shown to protect kidney tissues KLHL25 antibody against ischemic and nephrotoxic injury (Bernhardt et al. 2006 Weidemann et al. 2008 Ma et al. 2009 it remains unclear whether it does so by directly protecting renal tubular cells promoting wound healing CHC in these cells or enhancing angiogenesis and tissue remodeling (Haase 2006 Hill et al. 2008 Gunaratnam and Bonventre 2009 Another important signaling pathway that may contribute to the regulation of wound healing involves glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and β-catenin. In unstimulated cells β-catenin exists in a multiprotein complex with GSK3β axin and adenomatous polyposis coli. Phosphorylation of β-catenin by GSK3β in the complex results in the degradation of β-catenin. Activation of Wnt signaling leads to GSK3β phosphorylation and inactivation resulting in the accumulation of β-catenin which may translocate into the nucleus to induce gene expression. GSK3β/β-catenin signaling plays a critical role in nephron formation in the early stage of kidney development (Carroll et al. 2005 Iglesias et al. 2007 Lyons et al. 2009 In adult kidneys changes of GSK3β/β-catenin signaling in renal CHC tubules podocytes and interstitial cells are associated with numerous kidney diseases including acute kidney injury diabetic nephropathy renal cancers cystic kidney diseases albuminuria and renal.