Properties and functions of diacylglycerol kinases

Cell Signal. 2000 Oct;12(9-10):595-605. doi: 10.1016/s0898-6568(00)00113-3.


Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) phosphorylate the second-messenger diacylglycerol (DAG) to phosphatidic acid (PA). The family of DGKs is well conserved among most species. Nine mammalian isotypes have been identified, and are classified into five subgroups based on their primary structure. DGKs contain a conserved catalytic domain and an array of other conserved motifs that are likely to play a role in lipid-protein and protein-protein interactions in various signalling pathways dependent on DAG and/or PA production. DGK is therefore believed to be activated at the (plasma) membrane where DAG is generated. Some isotypes are found associated with and/or regulated by small GTPases of the Rho family, presumably acting in cytoskeletal rearrangements. Others are (also) found in the nucleus, in association with other regulatory enzymes of the phosphoinositide cycle, and have an effect on cell cycle progression. Most DGK isotypes show high expression in the brain, often in distinct brain regions, suggesting that each individual isotype has a unique function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / chemistry
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / genetics
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / metabolism
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / chemistry
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Isoenzymes
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase