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Oligomerization and Ca2+/calmodulin control binding of the ER Ca2+-sensors STIM1 and STIM2 to plasma membrane lipids

Author(s): Rajesh Bhardwaj | Hans‑Michael Müller | Walter Nickel | Matthias Seedorf

Journal: Bioscience Reports
ISSN 0144-8463

Volume: 33;
Issue: 5;
Start page: e00077;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: calmodulin (CaM) | ER–PM contact site | phosphoinositides | K-rich domain | STIM2 | store-operated calcium entry (SOCE)

Ca2+ (calcium) homoeostasis and signalling rely on physical contacts between Ca2+ sensors in the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and Ca2+ channels in the PM (plasma membrane). STIM1 (stromal interaction molecule 1) and STIM2 Ca2+ sensors oligomerize upon Ca2+ depletion in the ER lumen, contact phosphoinositides at the PM via their cytosolic lysine (K)-rich domains, and activate Ca2+ channels. Differential sensitivities of STIM1 and STIM2 towards ER luminal Ca2+ have been studied but responses towards elevated cytosolic Ca2+ concentration and the mechanism of lipid binding remain unclear. We found that tetramerization of the STIM1 K-rich domain is necessary for efficient binding to PI(4,5)P2-containing PM-like liposomes consistent with an oligomerization-driven STIM1 activation. In contrast, dimerization of STIM2 K-rich domain was sufficient for lipid binding. Furthermore, the K-rich domain of STIM2, but not of STIM1, forms an amphipathic α-helix. These distinct features of the STIM2 K-rich domain cause an increased affinity for PI(4,5)P2, consistent with the lower activation threshold of STIM2 and a function as regulator of basal Ca2+ levels. Concomitant with higher affinity for PM lipids, binding of CaM (calmodulin) inhibited the interaction of the STIM2 K-rich domain with liposomes in a Ca2+ and PI(4,5)P2 concentration-dependent manner. Therefore we suggest that elevated cytosolic Ca2+ concentration down-regulates STIM2-mediated ER–PM contacts via CaM binding.
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