Mitochondria control store-operated Ca2+ entry through Na+ and redox signals

EMBO J. 2017 Mar 15;36(6):797-815. doi: 10.15252/embj.201592481. Epub 2017 Feb 20.


Mitochondria exert important control over plasma membrane (PM) Orai1 channels mediating store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). Although the sensing of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ stores by STIM proteins and coupling to Orai1 channels is well understood, how mitochondria communicate with Orai1 channels to regulate SOCE activation remains elusive. Here, we reveal that SOCE is accompanied by a rise in cytosolic Na+ that is critical in activating the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX) causing enhanced mitochondrial Na+ uptake and Ca2+ efflux. Omission of extracellular Na+ prevents the cytosolic Na+ rise, inhibits NCLX activity, and impairs SOCE and Orai1 channel current. We show further that SOCE activates a mitochondrial redox transient which is dependent on NCLX and is required for preventing Orai1 inactivation through oxidation of a critical cysteine (Cys195) in the third transmembrane helix of Orai1. We show that mitochondrial targeting of catalase is sufficient to rescue redox transients, SOCE, and Orai1 currents in NCLX-deficient cells. Our findings identify a hitherto unknown NCLX-mediated pathway that coordinates Na+ and Ca2+ signals to effect mitochondrial redox control over SOCE.

Keywords: NCLX; SOCE; CRAC channel; mitochondrial redox; sodium signaling.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • ORAI1 Protein / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • ORAI1 Protein
  • SLC8B1 protein, human
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger
  • Sodium
  • Calcium