RATIONALEThe ability of a cell to independently regulate nuclear and cytosolic Ca(2+) signaling is currently attributed to the differential distribution of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor channel isoforms in the nucleoplasmic versus the endoplasmic reticulum. In cardiac myocytes, T-tubules confer the necessary compartmentation of Ca(2+) signals, which allows sarcomere contraction in response to plasma membrane depolarization, but whether there is a similar structure tunneling extracellular stimulation to control nuclear Ca(2+) signals locally has not been explored.OBJECTIVETo study the role of perinuclear sarcolemma in selective nuclear Ca(2+) signaling.METHODS AND RESULTSWe report here that insulin-like growth factor 1 triggers a fast and independent nuclear Ca(2+) signal in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes, human embryonic cardiac myocytes, and adult rat cardiac myocytes. This fast and localized response is achieved by activation of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling complexes present in perinuclear invaginations of the plasma membrane. The perinuclear insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor pool connects extracellular stimulation to local activation of nuclear Ca(2+) signaling and transcriptional upregulation through the perinuclear hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate production, nuclear Ca(2+) release, and activation of the transcription factor myocyte-enhancing factor 2C. Genetically engineered Ca(2+) buffers--parvalbumin--with cytosolic or nuclear localization demonstrated that the nuclear Ca(2+) handling system is physically and functionally segregated from the cytosolic Ca(2+) signaling machinery.CONCLUSIONSThese data reveal the existence of an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent nuclear Ca(2+) toolkit located in direct apposition to the cell surface, which allows the local control of rapid and independent activation of nuclear Ca(2+) signaling in response to an extracellular ligand.