Galactose-1-phosphate is a regulator of inositol monophosphatase: a fact or a fiction?

Med Hypotheses. 2003 Jan;60(1):123-8. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(02)00347-x.


Classic galactosemia is due to the deficiency of galactose-1-phosphate uridyl transferase and is transmitted as an autosomal recessive disorder. Patients suffering from classic galactosemia display acute symptoms such as poor growth, feeding difficulties, jaundice, hepatomegaly etc., which disappear when the individual is on galactose free diet. However, these patients continue to suffer from defects such as neurological disturbances and ovarian dysfunction, due to the accumulation of galactose-1-phosphate, which is a normal intermediate of galactose metabolism. The biochemical mechanism of galactose-1-phosphate mediated toxicity is still an enigma. Recent experiments strongly suggest that galactose-1-phosphate is also a substrate for inositol monophosphatase (IMPase). Phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate [PI(P)2] dependent signaling serves as a second messenger for several neurotransmitters in the brain. Therefore, the brain is critically dependent on IMPase for the supply of free inositol in order to sustain [PI(P)2] signaling. Circumstantial evidence strongly supports the possibility that being a substrate, galactose-1-phosphate could modulate IMPase function in vivo. The implication of this idea is discussed in relation to classic galactosemia as well as bipolar disorder, which has been thought to be due to the hyper-activation of [PI(P)2] mediated second messenger pathways(s).

MeSH terms

  • Galactosemias / etiology
  • Galactosemias / metabolism
  • Galactosephosphates / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Second Messenger Systems
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Galactosephosphates
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • galactose-1-phosphate
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • myo-inositol-1 (or 4)-monophosphatase