Store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) is a universal Ca(2+) influx pathway that is important for the function of many cell types. SOCE occurs upon depletion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) stores and relies on a complex molecular interplay between the plasma membrane (PM) Ca(2+) channel ORAI1 and the ER Ca(2+) sensor stromal interaction molecule (STIM) 1. Patients with null mutations in ORAI1 or STIM1 genes present with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)-like disease. Here, we describe the molecular mechanisms by which a loss-of-function STIM1 mutation (R429C) in human patients abolishes SOCE. R429 is located in the third coiled-coil (CC3) domain of the cytoplasmic C terminus of STIM1. Mutation of R429 destabilizes the CC3 structure and alters the conformation of the STIM1 C terminus, thereby releasing a polybasic domain that promotes STIM1 recruitment to ER-PM junctions. However, the mutation also impairs cytoplasmic STIM1 oligomerization and abolishes STIM1-ORAI1 interactions. Thus, despite its constitutive localization at ER-PM junctions, mutant STIM1 fails to activate SOCE. Our results demonstrate multifunctional roles of the CC3 domain in regulating intra- and intermolecular STIM1 interactions that control (i) transition of STIM1 from a quiescent to an active conformational state, (ii) cytoplasmic STIM1 oligomerization, and (iii) STIM1-ORAI1 binding required for ORAI1 activation.
Keywords: ORAI1; STIM1; calcium; immunodeficiency; mutation.