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Mol Immunol. 1996 Mar-Apr;33(4-5):379-86.

Calreticulin is transcriptionally upregulated by heat shock, calcium and heavy metals.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235, USA.


Calreticulin is a new human rheumatic disease-associated autoantigen that plays a multifaceted role in cell biology. In earlier studies, this protein was shown to share an intimate relationship with the Ro/SS-A autoantigen complex, although the nature of this association continues to be debated. Since modulation of the Ro/SS-A autoantigen in epidermal keratinocytes has been implicated in the pathogenesis of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus and neonatal lupus erythematosus, we have begun to examine the transcriptional regulation of calreticulin. A 504 bp calreticulin promoter fragment was subcloned into a reporter gene plasmid containing firefly luciferase. Calcium ionophore, heat shock, and heavy metals such as zinc and cadmium were consistently found to increase calreticulin transcriptional activities in A431 cells (a human epidermoid squamous carcinoma cell line) under transient transfection conditions. These studies suggest that (a) calreticulin is regulated at the transcriptional level, and (b) calreticulin, like some other LE-related autoantigens, appears to function as a heat shock/stress-response gene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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