Depletion of intracellular calcium stores generates a signal that activates Ca2+-permeable channels in the plasma membrane. We have identified a human cDNA, TRPC1A, from a human fetal brain cDNA library. TRPC1A is homologous to the cation channels trp and trpl in Drosophila and is a splice variant of the recently identified cDNA Htrp-1. Expression of TRPC1A in CHO cells induced nonselective cation currents with similar permeabilities for Na+, Ca2+, and Cs+. The currents were activated by intracellular infusion of myo inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate or thapsigargin. Expression of TRPC1A significantly enhanced increases in the intracellular free calcium concentration induced by Ca2+ restitution after prolonged depletion. Similar results were obtained in Sf9 cells. We conclude that TRPC1A encodes a Ca2+-permeable cation channel activated by depletion of intracellular calcium stores.