Receptor-initiated phospholipase C activation and generation of IP(3) and DAG are important common triggers for a diversity of signal transduction processes in many cell types. Contributing to this diversity is the existence and differential cellular and subcellular distribution of distinct phospholipase C isoforms with distinct regulatory properties. The recently identified PLCε enzyme is an isoform that is uniquely regulated by multiple upstream signals including ras-family GTP binding proteins as well as heterotrimeric G-proteins. In this review we will consider the well documented biochemical regulation of this isoform in the context of cell and whole animal physiology and in the context of other G protein-regulated PLC isoforms. These studies together reveal a surprisingly wide range of unexpected functions for PLCε in cellular signaling, physiology and disease.
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