The Ca2+ second messenger is initiated at ER/PM junctions and propagates into the cell interior to convey the receptor information. The signal is maintained by Ca2+ influx across the plasma membrane through the Orai and TRPC channels. These Ca2+ influx channels form complexes at ER/PM junctions with the ER Ca2+ sensor STIM1, which activates the channels. The function of STIM1 is modulated by other STIM isoforms like STIM1L, STIM2 and STIM2.1/STIM2β and by SARAF, which mediates the Ca2+ -dependent inhibition of Orai channels. The ER/PM junctions are formed at membrane contact sites by tethering proteins that generate several types of ER/PM junctions, such as PI(4,5)P2 -poor and PI(4,5) P2 -rich domains. This chapter discusses several properties of the TRPC channels, the Orai channels and the STIMs, their key interacting proteins and how interaction of the STIMs with the channels gates their activity. The chapter closes by highlighting open questions and potential future directions in this field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)