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J Biol Chem. 2011 Oct 21;286(42):36448-59. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.269415. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Local cytosolic Ca2+ elevations are required for stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) de-oligomerization and termination of store-operated Ca2+ entry.

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Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism, University of Geneva, rue Michel-Servet 1, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


The Ca(2+) depletion of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) activates the ubiquitous store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) pathway that sustains long-term Ca(2+) signals critical for cellular functions. ER Ca(2+) depletion initiates the oligomerization of stromal interaction molecules (STIM) that control SOCE activation, but whether ER Ca(2+) refilling controls STIM de-oligomerization and SOCE termination is not known. Here, we correlate the changes in free luminal ER Ca(2+) concentrations ([Ca(2+)](ER)) and in STIM1 oligomerization, using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between CFP-STIM1 and YFP-STIM1. We observed that STIM1 de-oligomerized at much lower [Ca(2+)](ER) levels during store refilling than it oligomerized during store depletion. We then refilled ER stores without adding exogenous Ca(2+) using a membrane-permeable Ca(2+) chelator to provide a large reservoir of buffered Ca(2+). This procedure rapidly restored pre-stimulatory [Ca(2+)](ER) levels but did not trigger STIM1 de-oligomerization, the FRET signals remaining elevated as long as the external [Ca(2+)] remained low. STIM1 dissociation evoked by Ca(2+) readmission was prevented by SOC channel inhibition and was associated with cytosolic Ca(2+) elevations restricted to STIM1 puncta, indicating that Ca(2+) acts on a cytosolic target close to STIM1 clusters. These data indicate that the refilling of ER Ca(2+) stores is not sufficient to induce STIM1 de-oligomerization and that localized Ca(2+) elevations in the vicinity of assembled SOCE complexes are required for the termination of SOCE.

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