Pore architecture of the ORAI1 store-operated calcium channel. Academic Article uri icon


  • ORAI1 is the pore-forming subunit of the calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel, a store-operated channel that is central to Ca(2+) signaling in mammalian cells. Electrophysiological data have shown that the acidic residues E106 in transmembrane helix 1 (TM1) and E190 in TM3 contribute to the high selectivity of ORAI1 channels for Ca(2+). We have examined the pore architecture of the ORAI1 channel using ORAI1 proteins engineered to contain either one or two cysteine residues. Disulfide cross-linking shows that ORAI1 assembles as a tetramer or a higher oligomer with TM1 centrally located. Cysteine side chains projecting from TM1 at position 88, 95, 102, or 106 cross-link efficiently to the corresponding side chain in a second ORAI1 monomer. Cysteine residues at position 190 or at surrounding positions in TM3 do not cross-link. We conclude that E106 residues in wild-type ORAI1 are positioned to form a Ca(2+) binding site in the channel pore and that E190 interacts less directly with ions traversing the pore. The cross-linking data further identify a relatively rigid segment of TM1 adjacent to E106 that is likely to contribute to the selectivity filter.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, Y., Ramachandran, S., Oh-Hora, M., Rao, A., & Hogan, P. G.

citation count

  • 123

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, Yubin||Ramachandran, Sweta||Oh-Hora, Masatsugu||Rao, Anjana||Hogan, Patrick G

publication date

  • March 2010