Insights into autotaxin: how to produce and present a lipid mediator

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Sep 14;12(10):674-9. doi: 10.1038/nrm3188.


Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted phosphodiesterase that produces the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA acts through specific guanine-nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors to stimulate migration, proliferation, survival and other functions in many cell types. ATX is important in vivo for processes as diverse as vasculogenesis, lymphocyte trafficking and tumour progression. However, the inner workings of ATX have long been elusive, in terms of both its substrate specificity and how localized LPA signalling is achieved. Structural studies have shown how ATX recognizes its substrates and may interact with the cell surface to promote specificity in LPA signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Multienzyme Complexes / chemistry
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Pyrophosphatases / chemistry
  • Pyrophosphatases / genetics
  • Pyrophosphatases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • alkylglycerophosphoethanolamine phosphodiesterase
  • Pyrophosphatases