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      STIM1 activation is regulated by a 14 amino acid sequence adjacent to the CRAC activation domain


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          Oligomerization of the Ca 2+ sensor, STIM1, in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, caused by depletion of ER Ca 2+ stores, results in STIM1 coupling to the plasma membrane Ca 2+ channel protein, Orai1, to activate Ca 2+ influx in a process known as store-operated Ca 2+ entry. We use fluorimetry-based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to monitor changes in STIM1 oligomerization in COS7 cells transfected with STIM1 constructs containing selected truncations, deletions, and point mutations, and labeled with donor and acceptor fluorescent proteins at either the luminal (N-terminal) or the cytoplasmic (C-terminal) ends. Our results with sequential truncations of STIM1 from the C-terminus support previous evidence that the CRAC activation domain (CAD/SOAR, human sequence 342-448) is an oligomer-promoting segment of STIM1, and they show that truncation just after CAD/SOAR (1-448) causes significantly elevated basal cytoplasmic Ca 2+ and spontaneous STIM1 clustering. We find that a 14 amino acid sequence just C-terminal of CAD/SOAR (449-462) prevents spontaneous clustering and activation of STIM1 in COS7 cells. In response to store depletion, C-terminally labeled STIM1 without CAD/SOAR clusters together with CAD/SOAR-containing STIM1 constructs. However, these donor-acceptor pairs do not undergo a stimulated increase in FRET, exhibiting instead a decrease in FRET consistent with a stimulated conformational extension in full length STIM1. We find that the 14 amino acid sequence plays a regulatory role in this process. Overall, our FRET results provide evidence in live cells that Ca 2+ store depletion stimulates a conformational extension in the cytoplasmic segment of STIM1 that accompanies its oligomerization.

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          A mutation in Orai1 causes immune deficiency by abrogating CRAC channel function.

          Antigen stimulation of immune cells triggers Ca2+ entry through Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels, promoting the immune response to pathogens by activating the transcription factor NFAT. We have previously shown that cells from patients with one form of hereditary severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) syndrome are defective in store-operated Ca2+ entry and CRAC channel function. Here we identify the genetic defect in these patients, using a combination of two unbiased genome-wide approaches: a modified linkage analysis with single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays, and a Drosophila RNA interference screen designed to identify regulators of store-operated Ca2+ entry and NFAT nuclear import. Both approaches converged on a novel protein that we call Orai1, which contains four putative transmembrane segments. The SCID patients are homozygous for a single missense mutation in ORAI1, and expression of wild-type Orai1 in SCID T cells restores store-operated Ca2+ influx and the CRAC current (I(CRAC)). We propose that Orai1 is an essential component or regulator of the CRAC channel complex.
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            STIM is a Ca2+ sensor essential for Ca2+-store-depletion-triggered Ca2+ influx.

            Ca(2+) signaling in nonexcitable cells is typically initiated by receptor-triggered production of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate and the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. An elusive signaling process senses the Ca(2+) store depletion and triggers the opening of plasma membrane Ca(2+) channels. The resulting sustained Ca(2+) signals are required for many physiological responses, such as T cell activation and differentiation. Here, we monitored receptor-triggered Ca(2+) signals in cells transfected with siRNAs against 2,304 human signaling proteins, and we identified two proteins required for Ca(2+)-store-depletion-mediated Ca(2+) influx, STIM1 and STIM2. These proteins have a single transmembrane region with a putative Ca(2+) binding domain in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. Ca(2+) store depletion led to a rapid translocation of STIM1 into puncta that accumulated near the plasma membrane. Introducing a point mutation in the STIM1 Ca(2+) binding domain resulted in prelocalization of the protein in puncta, and this mutant failed to respond to store depletion. Our study suggests that STIM proteins function as Ca(2+) store sensors in the signaling pathway connecting Ca(2+) store depletion to Ca(2+) influx.
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              STIM1, an essential and conserved component of store-operated Ca2+ channel function

              Store-operated Ca2+ (SOC) channels regulate many cellular processes, but the underlying molecular components are not well defined. Using an RNA interference (RNAi)-based screen to identify genes that alter thapsigargin (TG)-dependent Ca2+ entry, we discovered a required and conserved role of Stim in SOC influx. RNAi-mediated knockdown of Stim in Drosophila S2 cells significantly reduced TG-dependent Ca2+ entry. Patch-clamp recording revealed nearly complete suppression of the Drosophila Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) current that has biophysical characteristics similar to CRAC current in human T cells. Similarly, knockdown of the human homologue STIM1 significantly reduced CRAC channel activity in Jurkat T cells. RNAi-mediated knockdown of STIM1 inhibited TG- or agonist-dependent Ca2+ entry in HEK293 or SH-SY5Y cells. Conversely, overexpression of STIM1 in HEK293 cells modestly enhanced TG-induced Ca2+ entry. We propose that STIM1, a ubiquitously expressed protein that is conserved from Drosophila to mammalian cells, plays an essential role in SOC influx and may be a common component of SOC and CRAC channels.

                Author and article information

                AIMS Biophysics
                AIMS Biophysics
                AIMS Press
                28 February 2016
                : 3
                : 1
                : 99-118
                [ ] From the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
                Author notes
                David Holowka, Email: e-mail: dah24@ 123456cornell.edu ; Tel: 607-255-6140.
                : 19 December 2015
                : 24 February 2016
                Research article

                CRAC channel protein1 (ORAI1),cell signaling,fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET),membrane function,stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1),endoplasmic reticulum (ER),conformational change


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