Aggregation of STIM1 underneath the plasma membrane induces clustering of Orai1

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Dec 1;350(4):969-76. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.09.134. Epub 2006 Oct 4.


STIM1 and Orai1 have recently been identified to be crucial in the regulation of store-operated Ca(2+) entry. However, it remains to be established how STIM1 couples store depletion to the functioning of Orai1 in the plasma membrane. Using quantitative measurement, we find little STIM1 on the surface membrane which is not increased by store depletion. We further demonstrate that Orai1 assembles into clusters that co-localize with STIM1 aggregations upon store depletion. The clustering of Orai1 is only seen when Oari1 are co-expressed with STIM1, but not when expressed alone. Moreover, ER retreat from cell periphery leads to mismatching of Orai1 and STIM1 puncta. Therefore, we propose that store depletion causes aggregation and translocation of STIM1 in close apposition to the plasma membrane, which in turn recruits Orai1 in the plasma membrane to the sites of STIM1 aggregates to assemble functional units of CRAC channels in a stoichiometric manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Channels
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • ORAI1 Protein
  • Stromal Interaction Molecule 1
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Calcium Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • ORAI1 Protein
  • ORAI1 protein, human
  • STIM1 protein, human
  • Stromal Interaction Molecule 1