The Journal of biological chemistry

Overexpression of calreticulin increases intracellular Ca2+ storage and decreases store-operated Ca2+ influx.

PMID 8621597


The widely distributed and highly conserved Ca(2+)-binding protein calreticulin has been suggested to play a role as a Ca2+ storage protein of intracellular Ca+ stores. To test this hypothesis, we have generated a mouse L fibroblast cell line stably transfected with a calreticulin expression vector. The calreticulin content of the overexpressers was increased by 1.6 +/- 0.2-fold compared with mock-transfected cells. The total cellular Ca2+ content of calreticulin-overexpressing and control cells, as assessed by equilibrium 45Ca+2 uptake, was 141 +/- 8 and 67 +/- 6 pmol of Ca2+/10(6) cells, respectively (i.e. a 2.1 +/- 0.2-fold increase in the Ca2+ content of calreticulin-overexpressing cells). Over 80% of the increased Ca2+ content was found within thapsigargin-sensitive Ca2+ stores. The pattern of calreticulin distribution, revealed by immunofluorescence microscopy, showed an endoplasmic reticulum-like pattern and was identical in overexpressers and control cells. In overexpressers, cytosolic free [Ca2+] elevations due to Ca2+ release were enhanced when either ATP or a combination of ionomycin and thapsigargin was used as a stimulus. In contrast, thapsigargin-induced Ca2+ and Mn2+ influxes from the extracellular space were markedly diminished in calreticulin-overexpressing cells, suggesting an active involvement of calreticulin in the regulation of store-operated Ca2+ influx.