• ORAI1;
  • STIM1;
  • Ca2+;
  • T cells;
  • B cells;
  • mast cells

Summary:  Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) is a mechanism used by many cells types including lymphocytes and other immune cells to increase intracellular Ca2+ concentrations to initiate signal transduction. Activation of immunoreceptors such as the T-cell receptor, B-cell receptor, or Fc receptors results in the release of Ca2+ ions from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ stores and subsequent activation of plasma membrane Ca2+ channels such as the well-characterized Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel. Two genes have been identified that are essential for SOCE: ORAI1 as the pore-forming subunit of the CRAC channel in the plasma membrane and stromal interaction molecule-1 (STIM1) sensing the ER Ca2+ concentration and activating ORAI1-CRAC channels. Intense efforts in the past several years have focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of SOCE and the role it plays for cell functions in vitro and in vivo. A number of transgenic mouse models have been generated to investigate the role of ORAI1 and STIM1 in immunity. In addition, mutations in ORAI1 and STIM1 identified in immunodeficient patients provide valuable insight into the role of both genes and SOCE. This review focuses on the role of ORAI1 and STIM1 in vivo, discussing the phenotypes of ORAI1- and STIM1-deficient human patients and mice.