The intracellular Ca2+ concentration of non-excitable cells is regulated by calcium store release and store-operated calcium entry (SOCE). In platelets, STIM1 was recently identified as the main calcium sensor expressed in the endoplasmatic reticulum. To evaluate the role of the SOC channel moiety, Orai1, in platelet SOCE, we generated mice expressing a mutated, inactive form of Orai1 in blood cells only (Orai1R93W). Platelets expressing Orai1R93W were characterized by markedly reduced SOCE and impaired agonist-induced increases in [Ca2+]i. Orai1R93W platelets showed reduced integrin activation and impaired degranulation when stimulated with low agonist concentrations under static conditions. This defect, however, did not significantly affect the ability of Orai1R93W platelets to aggregate or to adhere to collagen under arterial flow conditions ex vivo. In contrast, these adherent Orai1R93W platelets were defective in surface phosphatidylserine exposure, suggesting that Orai1 is crucial for the platelets pro-coagulant response rather than for other Ca2+-dependent cellular responses.

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