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Channels (Austin). 2013 Sep-Oct;7(5):379-91. doi: 10.4161/chan.24302. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Emerging roles of store-operated Ca²⁺ entry through STIM and ORAI proteins in immunity, hemostasis and cancer.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics; McAllister Heart Institute; University of North Carolina; Chapel Hill, NC USA.
Department of Pathology; New York University Langone Medical Center; New York, NY USA.


Store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) is an important Ca(2+) influx pathway, which is defined by the fact that depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores, mainly the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), triggers the opening of Ca(2+) channels in the plasma membrane. The best characterized SOC channel is the Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channel, which was first described in cells of the immune system but has since been reported in many different cell types. CRAC channels are multimers of ORAI family proteins, of which ORAI1 is the best characterized. They are activated by stromal interaction molecules (STIM) 1 and 2, which respond to the depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores with oligomerization and binding to ORAI proteins. The resulting SOCE is critical for the physiological function of many cell types including immune cells and platelets. Recent studies using cell lines, animal models and primary cells from human patients with defects in SOCE have highlighted the importance of this Ca(2+) entry mechanism in a variety of pathophysiological processes. This review focuses on the role of SOCE in immunity to infection, allergy, hemostasis and cancer.


CRAC; Ca2+; ORAI1; STIM1; allergy; autoimmunity; calcium; cancer; hemostasis; immunodeficiency; lymphocytes; platelets; tumor,

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