Phosphoinositides and signal transduction

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 May;59(5):761-79. doi: 10.1007/s00018-002-8465-z.


Phosphoinositides comprise a family of eight minor membrane lipids which play important roles in many signal transducing pathways in the cell. Signaling through various phosphoinositides has been shown to mediate cell growth and proliferation, apoptosis, cytoskeletal changes, insulin action and vesicle trafficking. A number of advances in signal transduction in the last decade has resulted in the discovery of a growing list of proteins which directly interact with high affinity and specificity with distinct phosphoinositides. Equally important, a number of phosphoinositide binding domains such as the pleckstrin homology domain have emerged as critical mediators of phosphoinositide signaling. Here, recent advances in phosphoinositide signaling are discussed. The aim of this review is to highlight particularly exciting advances made in the field over the last few years. The regulation of phosphoinositide metabolism by lipid kinases, phosphatases and phospholipases is reviewed, and considerable emphasis is placed on phosphoinositide-binding proteins. Finally, the role of these lipids in regulating signaling pathways and cell function is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Structure
  • Phosphatidylinositols / chemistry
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism*
  • Phospholipases / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology*


  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Phospholipases
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases