Coupling of STIM1 to store-operated Ca2+ entry through its constitutive and inducible movement in the endoplasmic reticulum
Depletion of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) stores induces store-operated Ca2+ (SOC) entry across the plasma membrane (PM). STIM1, a putative Ca2+ sensor in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), has been recently shown to be necessary for SOC channel activation. Here we show that STIM1 dynamically moves in tubulovesicular shape on the ER and its subcompartment in resting living cells, whereas, upon Ca2+ store depletion, it is rapidly redistributed into discrete puncta that are located underneath, but not inserted into the PM. Normal constitutive movement of STIM1 is mediated through the coiled-coil and Ser/Thr-rich C-terminal domains in the cytoplasmic region of STIM1, whereas subsequent inducible puncta formation further requires the sterile α motif domain protruding into the ER lumen. Each of these three domains (coiled-coil, Ser/Thr-rich, and sterile α motif) was essential for activating SOC channels. Hence, our findings based on structure-function experiments suggest that constitutive dynamic movement of STIM1 in the ER and its subcompartment is obligatory for subsequent depletion-dependent redistribution of STIM1 into puncta underneath the PM and activation of SOC channels.