Store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) is activated in response to depletion of the endoplasmic reticulum-Ca(2+) stores following stimulation of plasma membrane receptors that couple to PIP2 hydrolysis and IP3 generation. Search for the molecular components of SOCE channels led to the identification of mammalian transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) family of calcium-permeable channels (TRPC1-TRPC7), which are all activated in response to stimuli that result in PIP2 hydrolysis. While several TRPCs, including TRPC1, TRPC3, and TRPC4, have been implicated in SOCE, the data are most consistent for TRPC1. Extensive studies in cell lines and knockout mouse models have established the contribution of TRPC1 to SOCE. Furthermore, there is a critical functional interaction between TRPC1 and the key components of SOCE, STIM1, and Orai1, which determines the activation of TRPC1. Orai1-mediated Ca(2+) entry is required for recruitment of TRPC1 and its insertion into surface membranes while STIM1 gates the channel. Notably, TRPC1 and Orai1 generate distinct patterns of Ca(2+) signals in cells that are decoded for the regulation of specific cellular functions. Thus, SOCE appears to be a complex process that depends on temporal and spatial coordination of several distinct steps mediated by proteins in different cellular compartments. Emerging data suggest that, in many cell types, the net Ca(2+) entry measured in response to store depletion is the result of the coordinated regulation of different calcium-permeable ion channels. Orai1 and STIM1 are central players in this process, and by mediating recruitment or activation of other Ca(2+) channels, Orai1-CRAC function can elicit rapid changes in global and local [Ca(2+)]i signals in cells. It is most likely that the type of channels and the [Ca(2+)]i signature that are generated by this process reflect the physiological function of the cell that is regulated by Ca(2+).