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The Orai1 channel is regulated by stromal interaction molecules STIM1 and STIM2 within endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) contact sites. Ca2+ signals generated by Orai1 activate Ca2+-dependent gene expression. When compared with STIM1, STIM2 is a weak activator of Orai1, but it has been suggested to have a unique role in nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFAT1) activation triggered by Orai1-mediated Ca2+ entry. In this study, we examined the contribution of STIM2 in NFAT1 activation. We report that STIM2 recruitment of Orai1/STIM1 to ER-PM junctions in response to depletion of ER-Ca2+ promotes assembly of the channel with AKAP79 to form a signaling complex that couples Orai1 channel function to the activation of NFAT1. Knockdown of STIM2 expression had relatively little effect on Orai1/STIM1 clustering or local and global [Ca2+]i increases but significantly attenuated NFAT1 activation and assembly of Orai1 with AKAP79. STIM1ΔK, which lacks the PIP2-binding polybasic domain, was recruited to ER-PM junctions following ER-Ca2+ depletion by binding to Orai1 and caused local and global [Ca2+]i increases comparable to those induced by STIM1 activation of Orai1. However, in contrast to STIM1, STIM1ΔK induced less NFAT1 activation and attenuated the association of Orai1 with STIM2 and AKAP79. Orai1-AKAP79 interaction and NFAT1 activation were recovered by coexpressing STIM2 with STIM1ΔK. Replacing the PIP2-binding domain of STIM1 with that of STIM2 eliminated the requirement of STIM2 for NFAT1 activation. Together, these data demonstrate an important role for STIM2 in coupling Orai1-mediated Ca2+ influx to NFAT1 activation.


Ga-Yeon Son, Krishna Prasad Subedi, Hwei Ling Ong, Lucile Noyer, Hassan Saadi, Changyu Zheng, Rajesh Bhardwaj, Stefan Feske, Indu Suresh Ambudkar. STIM2 targets Orai1/STIM1 to the AKAP79 signaling complex and confers coupling of Ca2+ entry with NFAT1 activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 Jul 14;117(28):16638-16648

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PMID: 32601188

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