The STIM-orai pathway: Light-operated Ca2+entry through engineered CRAC channels | Chapter individual record

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. Ca2+signals regulate a plethora of cellular functions that include muscle contraction, heart beating, hormone secretion, lymphocyte activation, gene expression, and metabolism. To study the impact of Ca2+signals on biological processes, pharmacological tools and caged compounds have been commonly applied to induce fluctuations of intracellular Ca2+concentrations. These conventional approaches, nonetheless, lack rapid reversibility and high spatiotemporal resolution. To overcome these disadvantages, we and others have devised a series of photoactivatable genetically encoded Ca2+actuators (GECAs) by installing light sensitivities into a bona fide highly selective Ca2+channel, the Ca2+release-activated Ca2+(CRAC) channel. Store-operated CRAC channel serves as a major route for Ca2+entry in many cell types. These GECAs enable remote and precise manipulation of Ca2+signaling in both excitable and non-excitable cells. When combined with nanotechnology, it becomes feasible to wirelessly photo-modulate Ca2+-dependent activities in vivo. In this chapter, we briefly review most recent advances in engineering CRAC channels to achieve optical control over Ca2+signaling, outline their design principles and kinetic features, and present exemplary applications of GECAs engineered from CRAC channels.

author list (cited authors)
Ma, G., Wen, S., Huang, Y., & Zhou, Y.
publication date
  • Immune Response
  • Calcium Release-activated Calcium (crac) Channel
  • Lov2
  • Cryptochrome
  • Optogenetics
  • STIM1
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