Phosphoinositide 3-kinase: diverse roles in immune cell activation

Annu Rev Immunol. 2004;22:563-98. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.22.012703.104721.


Cells of the immune system carry out diverse functions that are controlled by surface receptors for antigen, costimulatory molecules, cytokines, chemokines, and other ligands. A shared feature of signal transduction downstream of most receptors on immune cells, as in nonhematopoietic cell types, is the activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). The mechanism by which this common signaling event is elicited by distinct receptors and contributes to unique functional outcomes is an intriguing puzzle. Understanding how specificity is achieved in PI3K signaling is of particular significance because altered regulation of this pathway is observed in many disease states, including leukemia and lymphoma. Here we review recent advances in the understanding of PI3K signaling mechanisms in different immune cells and receptor systems. We emphasize the concept that PI3K and its products are components of complex networks of interacting proteins and second messengers, rather than simple links in linear signaling cascades.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / enzymology*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases