Navigation Links
Protein provides link between calcium signaling in excitable and non-excitable cells
Date:10/1/2010

A calcium-sensing protein, STIM1, known to activate store-operated calcium channels has been found to also inhibit voltage-operated calcium channels, according to researchers at Temple University.

The researchers published their findings, The Calcium Store Sensor, STIM1, Reciprocally Controls Orai and Cav1.2 Channels, in the Oct. 1 issue of Science magazine (www.sciencemag.org).

Calcium, not just important for bones and teeth, is a universal signaling agent that is pivotal in controlling a wide range of cell functions including fast muscle and nerve responses and slower response such as cell division, cell growth, apoptosis or programmed cell death and even fertilization of eggs.

Calcium is stored in cells and rapidly released out and pumped back to control things like contraction of muscle or the triggering of immune cells said Donald Gill, Professor and Chair of Biochemistry in Temple's School of Medicine and the study's lead researcher.

He said that the STIM1 protein, which he helped discover about 5 years ago, was found to play a major role in sensing the low levels of calcium in cell stores and activating the highly selective Orai calcium channel to allow calcium to flow back into the cell.

"We thought it seemed crazy that the STIM1 protein goes through this incredible dance but the only thing it does is activate the Orai channel," he said. "It seemed difficult to believe it only had this one specific function."

About two years ago, Gill and his colleagues noticed that in addition to activating the Orai channel to allow calcium to trickle back into the cell stores, STIM1 was also inhibiting the function of the crucial and widespread voltage-operated calcium channel, known as the L-typechannel.

"At the time, we thought only electrically excitable cells, like cardiac, neural and skeletal cells, had L-type (or long-lasting) calcium channels," he said. "So it was surprising that the STIM1 protein known to function mostly in non-excitable cells was having a pretty profound effect on the L-type calcium channels".

"This is particularly true in tissue like smooth muscle where it is sort of like a hybrid between an excitable and a non-excitable cell, because it has the voltage-operated calcium channel and the Orai calcium channel, as well as the very powerful STIM sensing system," he said.

Gill said that the researchers' finding gives a common mechanism for calcium signaling in both excitable and non-excitable cells, a link that was never before known.

"It's a very basic finding, but it's another whole area of control that people didn't know about before," he said. "They knew there were L-type calcium channels in many non-excitable cells, but they didn't seem to have any function. Now it seems very possible that the reason they didn't function is that the STIM1 protein was suppressing their function."


'/>"/>

Contact: Preston M. Moretz
pmoretz@temple.edu
215-204-4380
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Photonic crystal biosensors detect protein-DNA interactions
2. Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
3. Dont forget the vitamin A when working with its carrier protein
4. Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
5. The structure of the Mre11 protein bound to DNA
6. New lab manual focuses on essential methods for purifying and characterizing proteins
7. Proteins in sperm unlock understanding of male infertility says new study
8. Response to immune protein determines pathology of multiple sclerosis
9. Columbia to award 2008 Horwitz Prize to Arthur Horwich & Ulrich Hartl for cellular protein folding
10. Human protein atlas will help pinpoint disease
11. How neuronal activity leads to Alzheimers protein cleavage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters ... two-day competition will focus on developing health and wellness ... Hack the Genome is the first ... tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT ... North America , today announced a ... the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition ... of tools to transform population health activities through the ... data. higi collects and secures data today ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller ... (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... The ... cybersecurity regulations have transitioned into full force and effect. The law requires ... (“Covered Entities”) to conduct an annual, professional, comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessment, with ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... produce biochar, briquettes, and torrefied wood is the topic of a September ... characterize the potential economic viability of transportable biomass conversion facilities for producing biochar, ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... a growing leader in Electronic Trial Master file solutions , ... organization, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). ... MAPS Public Benefit Corporation selects eTMF ... ... the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). MAPS also reached agreement ...
(Date:9/17/2017)... , ... September 17, 2017 , ... ... the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS) for an Investigational ... against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The study in Korea represents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: