The clinical significance of STIM proteins and Orai Ca2+ channels in tumor progression has been demonstrated in different types of cancers. Podosomes are dynamic actin-rich cellular protrusions that facilitate cancer cell invasiveness by degrading extracellular matrix. Whether STIM1-dependent Ca2+ signaling facilitates cancer cell invasion through affecting podosome formation remains unclear. Here we show that the invasive fronts of cancer tissues overexpress STIM1, accompanied by active store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). Interfering SOCE activity by SOCE inhibitors and STIM1 or Orai1 knockdown remarkably affects podosome rosettes formation. Mechanistically, STIM1-silencing significantly alters the podosome rosettes dynamics, shortens the maintenance phase of podosome rosettes and reduces cell invasiveness. The subsequently transient expression of STIM1 cDNA in STIM1-null (STIM1-/-) mouse embryo fibroblasts rescues the suppression of podosome formation, suggesting that STIM1-mediated SOCE activation directly regulates podosome formation. This study uncovers SOCE-mediated Ca2+ microdomain that is the molecular basis for Ca2+ sensitivity controlling podosome formation.
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