The functions of store-operated calcium channels

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2017 Jun;1864(6):900-906. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2016.11.028. Epub 2016 Nov 30.


Store-operated calcium channels provide calcium signals to the cytoplasm of a wide variety of cell types. The basic components of this signaling mechanism include a mechanism for discharging Ca2+ stores (commonly but not exclusively phospholipase C and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate), a sensor in the endoplasmic reticulum that also serves as an activator of the plasma membrane channel (STIM1 and STIM2), and the store-operated channel (Orai1, 2 or 3). The advent of mice genetically altered to reduce store-operated calcium entry globally or in specific cell types has provided important tools to understand the functions of these widely encountered channels in specific and clinically important physiological systems. This review briefly discusses the history and cellular properties of store-operated calcium channels, and summarizes selected studies of their physiological functions in specific physiological or pathological contexts. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: ECS Meeting edited by Claus Heizmann, Joachim Krebs and Jacques Haiech.

Keywords: Calcium signaling; Exocrine glands; Keratinocytes; Mouse models; Neutrophils; Store-operated calcium channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / physiology*
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium