IMR Press / FBL / Volume 17 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/4007

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Permeation and gating mechanisms in store-operated CRAC channels
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1 Department of Molecular Chicago, IL 60611 Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Academic Editor: Mohamed Trebak

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2012, 17(5), 1613–1626;
Published: 1 January 2012

Ca2+ is a ubiquitous signaling messenger mediating many essential cellular functions such as excitability, exocytosis and transcription. Among the different pathways by which cellular Ca2+ signals are generated, the entry of Ca2+ through store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels has emerged as a widespread mechanism for regulating Ca2+ signaling in many eukaryotic cells. CRAC channels are implicated in the physiology and pathophysiology of numerous cell types, underlie several disease processes including a severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, and have emerged as major targets for drug development. Although little was known of the molecular mechanisms of CRAC channels for several decades, the discovery of Orai1 as a prototypic CRAC channel pore-subunit, and the identification of STIM1 as the ER Ca2+ sensor, have led to rapid progress in our understanding of many aspects of CRAC channel behavior. This review examines the molecular features of the STIM and Orai proteins that regulate the activation and conduction mechanisms of CRAC channels.

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