STIM1 acts as an endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) sensor that communicates the filling state of the intracellular stores to the store-operated channels. In addition, STIM1 is expressed in the plasma membrane, with the Ca(2+) binding EF-hand motif facing the extracellular medium; however, its role sensing extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations in store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE), as well as the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here we report that divalent cation entry stimulated by thapsigargin (TG) is attenuated by extracellular Ca(2+) in a concentration-dependent manner. Expression of the Ca(2+)-binding defective STIM1(D76A) mutant did not alter the surface expression of STIM1 but abolishes the regulation of divalent cation entry by extracellular Ca(2+). Orai1 and TRPC1 have been shown to play a major role in SOCE. Expression of the STIM1(D76A) mutant did not alter Orai1 phosphoserine content. TRPC1 silencing significantly attenuated TG-induced Mn(2+) entry. Expression of the STIM1(K684,685E) mutant impaired the association of plasma membrane STIM1 with TRPC1, as well as the regulation of TG-induced divalent cation entry by extracellular Ca(2+), which suggests that TRPC1 might be involved in the regulation of divalent cation entry by extracellular Ca(2+) mediated by plasma membrane-resident STIM1. Expression of the STIM1(D76A) or STIM1(K684,685E) mutants reduced store-operated divalent cation entry and resulted in loss of dependence on the extracellular Ca(2+) concentration, providing evidence for a functional role of plasma membrane-resident STIM1 in the regulation of store-operated divalent cation entry, which at least involves the EF-hand motif and the C-terminal polybasic lysine-rich domain.
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