The Ca2+ channel ORAI1 is a regulator of oral cancer growth and nociceptive pain

Ga Yeon Son, Nguyen Huu Tu, Maria Daniela Santi, Santiago Loya Lopez, Guilherme H. Souza Bomfim, Manikandan Vinu, Fang Zhou, Ariya Chaloemtoem, Rama Alhariri, Youssef Idaghdour, Rajesh Khanna, Yi Ye, Rodrigo S. Lacruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oral cancer causes pain associated with cancer progression. We report here that the function of the Ca2+ channel ORAI1 is an important regulator of oral cancer pain. ORAI1 was highly expressed in tumor samples from patients with oral cancer, and ORAI1 activation caused sustained Ca2+ influx in human oral cancer cells. RNA-seq analysis showed that ORAI1 regulated many genes encoding oral cancer markers such as metalloproteases (MMPs) and pain modulators. Compared with control cells, oral cancer cells lacking ORAI1 formed smaller tumors that elicited decreased allodynia when inoculated into mouse paws. Exposure of trigeminal ganglia neurons to MMP1 evoked an increase in action potentials. These data demonstrate an important role of ORAI1 in oral cancer progression and pain, potentially by controlling MMP1 abundance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadf9535
JournalScience signaling
Issue number801
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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