Phospholipid synthesis in yeast: regulation by phosphorylation

Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;82(1):62-70. doi: 10.1139/o03-064.


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model eukaryotic organism for the study of the regulation of phospholipid synthesis. The major phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylserine) are synthesized by complementary (CDP-diacylglycerol and Kennedy) pathways. The regulation of these pathways is complex and is controlled by genetic and biochemical mechanisms. Inositol plays a major role in the regulation of phospholipid synthesis. Inositol-mediated regulation involves the expression of genes and the modulation of enzyme activities. Phosphorylation is a major mechanism by which enzymes and transcription factors are regulated, and indeed, key phospholipid biosynthetic enzymes have been identified as targets of phosphorylation. Protein kinase A phosphorylates CTP synthetase, choline kinase, Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate phosphatase, phosphatidylserine synthase, and the transcription factor Opi1p. CTP synthetase and Opi1p are also phosphorylated by protein kinase C. The phosphorylation of these proteins plays a role in regulating their activities and (or) function in phospholipid synthesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / metabolism
  • Inositol / chemistry
  • Inositol / metabolism*
  • Phospholipids / biosynthesis*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / chemistry
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism


  • OPI1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Phospholipids
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Inositol
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases
  • CTP synthetase