Journal of Cellular Physiology
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Proper regulation of cytosolic Ca2+ is critical for pancreatic acinar cell function. Disruptions in normal Ca2+ concentrations affect numerous cellular functions and are associated with pancreatitis. Membrane pumps and channels regulate cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis by promoting rapid Ca2+ movement. Determining how expression of Ca2+ modulators is regulated and the cellular alterations that occur upon changes in expression can provide insight into initiating events of pancreatitis. The goal of this study was to delineate the gene structure and regulation of a novel pancreas-specific isoform for Secretory Pathway Ca2+ ATPase 2 (termed SPCA2C), which is encoded from the Atp2c2 gene. Using Next Generation Sequencing of RNA (RNA-seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation for epigenetic modifications and promoter-reporter assays, a novel transcriptional start site was identified that promotes expression of a transcript containing the last four exons of the Atp2c2 gene (Atp2c2c). This region was enriched for epigenetic marks and pancreatic transcription factors that promote gene activation. Promoter activity for regions upstream of the ATG codon in Atp2c2’s 24th exon was observed in vitro but not in in vivo. Translation from this ATG encodes a protein aligned with the carboxy terminal of SPCA2. Functional analysis in HEK 293A cells indicates a unique role for SPCA2C in increasing cytosolic Ca2+. RNA analysis indicates that the decreased Atp2c2c expression observed early in experimental pancreatitis reflects a global molecular response of acinar cells to reduce cytosolic Ca2+ levels. Combined, these results suggest SPCA2C affects Ca2+ homeostasis in pancreatic acinar cells in a unique fashion relative to other Ca2+ ATPases. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2768–2778, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.