Cobalt is a transition metal which can substitute for iron in the oxygen-sensitive protein and mimic hypoxia. Cobalt was known to be associated with the development of lung disease. In this study, when lung cells were exposed to hypoxia-induced by CoCl(2) at a sub-lethal concentration (100 microM), their thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) expression was greatly reduced. Under this condition, SP-B promoter activity was down-regulated, but SP-C promoter remained active. Therefore, we hypothesized that other factor(s) besides TTF-1 might contribute to the modulation of SP-C promoter in hypoxic lung cells. Pleomorphic adenoma gene like-2 (PLAGL2), a previously identified TTF-1-independent activator of the SP-C promoter, was not down-regulated, nor increased, within those cells. Its cellular location was redistributed from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and quantitative RT-PCR analyses demonstrated that nuclear PLAGL2 occupied and transactivated the endogenous SP-C promoter in lung cells. Thereby, through relocating and accumulating of PLAGL2 inside the nucleus, PLAGL2 interacted with its target genes for various cellular functions. These results further suggest that PLAGL2 is an oxidative stress responding regulator in lung cells.