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In non-excitable cells, one major route for Ca2+ influx is through store-operated Ca2+ channels in the plasma membrane. These channels are activated by the emptying of intracellular Ca2+ stores, and in some cell types store-operated influx occurs through Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. Here, we report that intracellular Ca2+ modulates CRAC channel activity through both positive and negative feedback steps in RBL-1 cells. Under conditions in which cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration can fluctuate freely, we find that store-operated Ca2+ entry is impaired either following overexpression of a dominant negative calmodulin mutant or following whole-cell dialysis with a calmodulin inhibitory peptide. The peptide had no inhibitory effect when intracellular Ca2+ was buffered strongly at low levels. Hence, Ca2+-calmodulin is not required for the activation of CRAC channels per se but is an important regulator under physiological conditions. We also find that the plasma membrane Ca2+ATPase is the dominant Ca2+ efflux pathway in these cells. Although the activity of the Ca2+ pump is regulated by calmodulin, the store-operated Ca2+ entry is more sensitive to inhibition by the calmodulin mutant than by Ca2+ extrusion. Hence, these two plasmalemmal Ca2+ transport systems may differ in their sensitivities to endogenous calmodulin. Following the activation of Ca2+ entry, the rise in intracellular Ca2+ subsequently feeds back to further inhibit Ca2+ influx. This slow inactivation can be activated by a relatively brief Ca2+ influx (30-60 s); it reverses slowly and is not altered by overexpression of the calmodulin mutant. Hence, the same messenger, intracellular Ca2+, can both facilitate and inactivate Ca2+ entry through store-operated CRAC channels and through different mechanisms.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





8776 - 8783


Animals, Biological Transport, Calcium, Calcium Channels, Calcium-Transporting ATPases, Calmodulin, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Membrane, Kinetics, Leukemia, Basophilic, Acute, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Rats, Thapsigargin