Superoxide dismutase 1 acts as a nuclear transcription factor to regulate oxidative stress resistance

Chi K.wan Tsang, Yuan Liu, Janice Thomas, Yanjie Zhang, X. F.S. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


Superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1) has been known for nearly half a century for catalysis of superoxide to hydrogen peroxide. Here we report a new Sod1 function in oxidative signalling: in response to elevated endogenous and exogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS), Sod1 rapidly relocates into the nucleus, which is important for maintaining genomic stability. Interestingly, H2O2 is sufficient to promote Sod1 nuclear localization, indicating that it is responding to general ROS rather than Sod1 substrate superoxide. ROS signalling is mediated by Mec1/ATM and its effector Dun1/Cds1 kinase, through Dun1 interaction with Sod1 and regulation of Sod1 by phosphorylation at S60, 99. In the nucleus, Sod1 binds to promoters and regulates the expression of oxidative resistance and repair genes. Altogether, our study unravels an unorthodox function of Sod1 as a transcription factor and elucidates the regulatory mechanism for its localization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3446
Pages (from-to)3446
Number of pages1
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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