Characterization and Expression of Calpain 10: A novel ubiquitous calpain with nuclear localization

Hong Ma, Chiho Fukiage, Yung Hae Kim, Melinda K. Duncan, Nathan A. Reed, Marjorie Shih, Mitsuyoshi Azuma, Thomas R. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Calpains are calcium-dependent intracellular nonlysosomal proteases that are believed to hydrolyze specific substrates important in calcium-regulated signaling pathways. Recently, an atypical member of the calpain family, calpain 10, was described, and genetic variation in this gene was associated with an increased risk of type II diabetes mellitus in humans. In the present report, a polyclonal antibody directed against rat calpain 10 was developed. This antibody was used to monitor the expression of calpain 10 protein in tissues from rats, mice, and humans. Calpain 10 protein was found to be present in all tissues examined by Western blotting including the lens, retina, brain, heart, and skeletal muscle. Although some calpain 10 was detectable in the water-soluble protein fraction of these tissues, it was preferentially found in the water-insoluble fraction. In the lens, immunohistochemistry revealed that calpain 10 was predominately located in the cytoplasm of epithelial and newly differentiating lens fibers at the transition zone. However, calpain 10 was found to be associated with the plasma membrane of differentiated lens fiber cells and the sarcolemma of skeletal muscle. In the lens epithelium-derived cell line, αTN4-1, the calpain 10 protein was found in a punctate distribution in the cell nucleus as well as the cytoplasm. After the elevation of intracellular calcium levels with ionomycin, calpain 10 protein levels in the nucleus of αTN4-1 cells increased markedly, whereas those in the cytoplasm decreased. In the lens, the elevation of intracellular calcium levels after selenite administration resulted in increased levels of calpain 10 RNA within 1 day and a loss of calpain 10 protein from the lens nucleus coincident with the onset of selenite cataract. In conclusion, calpain 10 seems to be a ubiquitous calpain, the expression level and subcellular distribution of which are dynamically influenced by calcium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28525-28531
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 27 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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