Pore opening mechanism of CRAC channels

Priscilla S.W. Yeung, Megumi Yamashita, Murali Prakriya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Three decades ago, James W. Putney Jr. conceptualized the idea of store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) to explain how depletion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ stores evokes Ca2+ influx across the plasma membrane. Since the publication of this highly influential idea, it is now established that SOCE is universal among non-excitable and probably even many types of excitable cells, and contributes to numerous effector functions impacting immunity, muscle contraction, and brain function. The molecules encoding SOCE, the STIM and Orai proteins, are now known and our understanding of how this pathway is activated in response to ER Ca2+ store depletion has advanced significantly. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of how Orai1 channels are activated by STIM1, focusing on recent work supporting a hydrophobic gating mechanism for the opening of the Orai1 channel pore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalCell Calcium
StatePublished - May 2017


  • CRAC channel
  • Calcium
  • Orai1
  • SOCE
  • STIM1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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