Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein Provides Link Between Calcium Signaling in Excitable and Non-Excitable Cells

05.10.2010
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-type—channel.

“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.”

The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

Preston M. Moretz | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.temple.edu

Further reports about: Calcium L-type Non-Excitable Protein STIM1 Signaling immune cell methanol fuel cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells
21.09.2018 | NMI Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Universität Tübingen

nachricht A one-way street for salt
21.09.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Astrophysicists measure precise rotation pattern of sun-like stars for the first time

21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells

21.09.2018 | Life Sciences

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>