Dynamic distribution of hig2a between the mitochondria and the nucleus in response to hypoxia and oxidative stress

Celia Salazar, Miriam Barros, Alvaro A. Elorza, Lina María Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mitochondrial respiratory supercomplex formation requires HIG2A protein, which also has been associated with cell proliferation and cell survival under hypoxia. HIG2A protein localizes in mitochondria and nucleus. DNA methylation and mRNA expression of the HIGD2A gene show significant alterations in several cancers, suggesting a role for HIG2A in cancer biology. The present work aims to understand the dynamics of the HIG2A subcellular localization under cellular stress. We found that HIG2A protein levels increase under oxidative stress. H2O2 shifts HIG2A localization to the mitochondria, while rotenone shifts it to the nucleus. HIG2A protein colocalized at a higher level in the nucleus concerning the mitochondrial network under normoxia and hypoxia (2% O2 ). Hypoxia (2% O2 ) significantly increases HIG2A nuclear colocalization in C2C12 cells. In HEK293 cells, chemical hypoxia with CoCl2 (>1% O2 ) and FCCP mitochondrial uncoupling, the HIG2A protein decreased its nuclear localization and shifted to the mitochondria. This suggests that the HIG2A distribution pattern between the mitochondria and the nucleus depends on stress and cell type. HIG2A protein expression levels increase under cellular stresses such as hypoxia and oxidative stress. Its dynamic distribution between mitochondria and the nucleus in response to stress factors suggests a new communication system between the mitochondria and the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number389
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Cancer
  • HIGD2A
  • Hypoxia
  • Metabolic reprograming
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic distribution of hig2a between the mitochondria and the nucleus in response to hypoxia and oxidative stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this