PloS one

Regulation of STIM1 and SOCE by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS).

PMID 20976103


The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) mediates the majority of protein degradation in eukaryotic cells. The UPS has recently emerged as a key degradation pathway involved in synapse development and function. In order to better understand the function of the UPS at synapses we utilized a genetic and proteomic approach to isolate and identify novel candidate UPS substrates from biochemically purified synaptic membrane preparations. Using these methods, we have identified Stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1). STIM1 is as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium sensor that has been shown to regulate store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE). We have characterized STIM1 in neurons, finding STIM1 is expressed throughout development with stable, high expression in mature neurons. As in non-excitable cells, STIM1 is distributed in a membranous and punctate fashion in hippocampal neurons. In addition, a population of STIM1 was found to exist at synapses. Furthermore, using surface biotinylation and live-cell labeling methods, we detect a subpopulation of STIM1 on the surface of hippocampal neurons. The role of STIM1 as a regulator of SOCE has typically been examined in non-excitable cell types. Therefore, we examined the role of the UPS in STIM1 and SOCE function in HEK293 cells. While we find that STIM1 is ubiquitinated, its stability is not altered by proteasome inhibitors in cells under basal conditions or conditions that activate SOCE. However, we find that surface STIM1 levels and thapsigargin (TG)-induced SOCE are significantly increased in cells treated with proteasome inhibitors. Additionally, we find that the overexpression of POSH (Plenty of SH3's), an E3 ubiquitin ligase recently shown to be involved in the regulation of Ca(2+) homeostasis, leads to decreased STIM1 surface levels. Together, these results provide evidence for previously undescribed roles of the UPS in the regulation of STIM1 and SOCE function.