Aug 1, 1992

Inositol lipids in cellular signalling mechanisms

Trends in Biochemical Sciences
R H Michell


At the opening of the 1980s, two camps vigorously contested whether receptor-stimulated inositol lipid hydrolysis was a transmembrane signalling reaction that brought about an elevation of cytosolic [Ca2+] or simply a frequent, but unexplained, response of many stimulated cells to a stimulated elevation of cytosolic [Ca2+]. Since 1984, this discussion has been replaced by intensive work that is well on the way to providing a detailed description of the complex set of signalling pathways initiated by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis to form the second messengers inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and 1,2-diacylglycerol. In addition, it has been realized that cells closely regulate their levels both of a novel family of 3-phosphorylated inositol lipids and of a large number of water-soluble inositol polyphosphates; the definition of the functions of these molecules will be a job for the 1990s.

Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Second messenger
Integral to Membrane
Cell Communication
Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-Diphosphate
Cell Division Phases

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