A single amino acid deletion in the ER Ca2+ sensor STIM1 reverses the in vitro and in vivo effects of the Stormorken syndrome-causing R304W mutation

Sci Signal. 2023 Feb 7;16(771):eadd0509. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.add0509. Epub 2023 Feb 7.


Stormorken syndrome is a multiorgan hereditary disease caused by dysfunction of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ sensor protein STIM1, which forms the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel together with the plasma membrane channel Orai1. ER Ca2+ store depletion activates STIM1 by releasing the intramolecular "clamp" formed between the coiled coil 1 (CC1) and CC3 domains of the protein, enabling the C terminus to extend and interact with Orai1. The most frequently occurring mutation in patients with Stormorken syndrome is R304W, which destabilizes and extends the STIM1 C terminus independently of ER Ca2+ store depletion, causing constitutive binding to Orai1 and CRAC channel activation. We found that in cis deletion of one amino acid residue, Glu296 (which we called E296del) reversed the pathological effects of R304W. Homozygous Stim1 E296del+R304W mice were viable and phenotypically indistinguishable from wild-type mice. NMR spectroscopy, molecular dynamics simulations, and cellular experiments revealed that although the R304W mutation prevented CC1 from interacting with CC3, the additional deletion of Glu296 opposed this effect by enabling CC1-CC3 binding and restoring the CC domain interactions within STIM1 that are critical for proper CRAC channel function. Our results provide insight into the activation mechanism of STIM1 by clarifying the molecular basis of mutation-elicited protein dysfunction and pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels* / genetics
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • ORAI1 Protein / metabolism
  • Stromal Interaction Molecule 1 / genetics


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Calcium Channels
  • Amino Acids
  • Stromal Interaction Molecule 1
  • Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels
  • ORAI1 Protein
  • Calcium
  • Stim1 protein, mouse

Supplementary concepts

  • Stormorken Syndrome