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Review
, 31 (1), 5-16

The Membrane and Lipids as Integral Participants in Signal Transduction: Lipid Signal Transduction for the Non-Lipid Biochemist

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Review

The Membrane and Lipids as Integral Participants in Signal Transduction: Lipid Signal Transduction for the Non-Lipid Biochemist

Kathleen M Eyster. Adv Physiol Educ.

Abstract

Reviews of signal transduction have often focused on the cascades of protein kinases and protein phosphatases and their cytoplasmic substrates that become activated in response to extracellular signals. Lipids, lipid kinases, and lipid phosphatases have not received the same amount of attention as proteins in studies of signal transduction. However, lipids serve a variety of roles in signal transduction. They act as ligands that activate signal transduction pathways as well as mediators of signaling pathways, and lipids are the substrates of lipid kinases and lipid phosphatases. Cell membranes are the source of the lipids involved in signal transduction, but membranes also constitute lipid barriers that must be traversed by signal transduction pathways. The purpose of this review is to explore the magnitude and diversity of the roles of the cell membrane and lipids in signal transduction and to highlight the interrelatedness of families of lipid mediators in signal transduction.

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