Phosphoinositides in plants: novel functions in membrane trafficking

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Dec;11(6):620-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.10.010.


Tight regulation of membrane trafficking is crucial to the proper maintenance of the endomembrane trafficking system of eukaryotic cells. Distinct organelles must maintain their identities while at the same time continuously accepting, sorting, and exchanging membrane and luminal cargo constituents. Additionally, many of these organelles differentiate specialized subdomains containing distinct sets of lipids and proteins and restrict certain aspects of membrane trafficking to these regions of the organelle. Phosphoinositides (PIs) are a class of membrane lipids that have emerged as key components in some of these membrane trafficking events. The ability of these lipids to be rapidly produced, modified, and hydrolyzed by distinct classes of phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) kinases, phosphatases, and phospholipases, allows for their use as finely tuned spatial and temporal landmarks for organelle and sub-organelle domains. In this review we will attempt to highlight some of the recent studies of the roles of this class of lipids in plant membrane trafficking, particularly on their important roles in polarized membrane trafficking in plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism*
  • Phospholipid Transfer Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Plant Cells*
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Phospholipid Transfer Proteins
  • polyphosphoinositide phosphatase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases