We report that albumin is translocated to the nucleus in response to oxidative stress. Prior measurements have demonstrated that in concert with known transcription factors albumin binds to an antioxidant response element, which controls the expression of glutathione S-transferase and other antioxidant enzymes that function to mediate adaptive cellular responses [Holderman, M. T., Miller, K. P., Dangott, L. J., and Ramos, K. S. (2002) Mol. Pharmacol. 61, 1174-1183]. To investigate the mechanisms underlying this adaptive cell response, we have identified linkages between calcium signaling and the nuclear translocation of albumin in JB6 epithelial cells. Under resting conditions, albumin and the calcium regulatory protein calmodulin (CaM) co-immunoprecipitate using antibodies against either protein, indicating a tight association. Calcium activation of CaM disrupts the association between CaM and albumin, suggesting that transient increases in cytosolic calcium levels function to mobilize intracellular albumin to facilitate its translocation into the nucleus. Likewise, nuclear translocation of albumin is induced by exposure of cells to hydrogen peroxide or a phorbol ester, indicating a functional linkage between reactive oxygen species, calcium, and PKC-signaling pathways. Inclusion of an antioxidant enzyme (i.e., superoxide dismutase) blocks nuclear translocation, suggesting that the oxidation of sensitive proteins functions to coordinate the adaptive cellular response. These results suggest that elevated calcium transients and associated increases in reactive oxygen species contribute to adaptive cellular responses through the mobilization and nuclear translocation of cellular albumin.
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