Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and not mitochondrial motility is required for STIM1-Orai1-dependent store-operated Ca2+ entry.J Cell Sci. 2010 Aug 01; 123(Pt 15):2553-64.JC
Store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) is established by formation of subplasmalemmal clusters of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein, stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) upon ER Ca(2+) depletion. Thereby, STIM1 couples to plasma membrane channels such as Orai1. Thus, a close proximity of ER domains to the plasma membrane is a prerequisite for SOCE activation, challenging the concept of local Ca(2+) buffering by mitochondria as being essential for SOCE. This study assesses the impact of mitochondrial Ca(2+) handling and motility on STIM1-Orai1-dependent SOCE. High-resolution microscopy showed only 10% of subplasmalemmal STIM1 clusters to be colocalized with mitochondria. Impairments of mitochondrial Ca(2+) handling by inhibition of mitochondrial Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX(mito)) or depolarization only partially suppressed Ca(2+) entry in cells overexpressing STIM1-Orai1. However, SOCE was completely abolished when both NCX(mito) was inhibited and the inner mitochondrial membrane was depolarized, in STIM1- and Orai1-overexpressing cells. Immobilization of mitochondria by expression of mAKAP-RFP-CAAX, a construct that physically links mitochondria to the plasma membrane, affected the Ca(2+) handling of the organelles but not the activity of SOCE. Our observations indicate that mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake, including reversal of NCX(mito), is fundamental for STIM1-Orai1-dependent SOCE, whereas the proximity of mitochondria to STIM1-Orai1 SOCE units and their motility is not required.