Phospholamban is concentrated in the nuclear envelope of cardiomyocytes and involved in perinuclear/nuclear calcium handling

Adonis Z. Wu, Dongzhu Xu, Na Yang, Shien-Fong Lin, Peng Sheng Chen, Steven E. Cala, Zhenhui Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Aims Phospholamban (PLB) regulates the cardiac Ca2 +-ATPase (SERCA2a) in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). However, the localization of PLB at subcellular sites outside the SR and possible contributions to Ca2 + cycling remain unknown. We examined the intracellular distribution of PLB and tested whether a pool of PLB exists in the nuclear envelope (NE) that might regulate perinuclear/nuclear Ca2 + (nCa2 +) handling in cardiomyocytes (CMs). Methods and results Using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and immunoblot analyses of CMs and CM nuclei, we discovered that PLB was highly concentrated in NE. Moreover, the ratio of PLB levels to SERCA levels was greater in NE than in SR. The increased levels of PLB in NE were a consistent finding using a range of antibodies, tissue samples, and species. To address a possible role in affecting Ca2 + handling, we used Fluo-4 based confocal Ca2 + imaging, with scan-lines across cytosol and nuclei, and evaluated the effects of PLB on cytosolic and nCa2 + uptake and release in mouse CMs. In intact CMs, isoproterenol increased amplitude and decreased the decay time of Ca2 + transients not only in cytosol but also in nuclear regions. In saponin-permeabilized mouse CMs ([Ca2 +]i = 400 nM), we measured spontaneous Ca2 + waves after specific reversal of PLB activity by addition of the Fab fragment of an anti-PLB monoclonal antibody (100 μg/ml). This highly selective immunological reagent enhanced Ca2 + uptake (faster decay times) and Ca2 + release (greater intensity) in both cytosol and across the nuclear regions. Conclusions Besides SR, PLB is concentrated in NE of CMs, and may be involved in modulation of nCa2 + dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Calcium signaling
  • Cardiomyocyte
  • Nuclear membranes
  • Perinuclear Ca2+ dynamics
  • Phospholamban
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase

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