Recent progress on type II diacylglycerol kinases: the physiological functions of diacylglycerol kinase δ, η and κ and their involvement in disease

J Biochem. 2012 Nov;152(5):397-406. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvs104. Epub 2012 Sep 13.


Diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) phosphorylates diacylglycerol (DAG) to produce phosphatidic acid (PA) and plays an important role in signal transduction by modulating the balance between these signalling lipids. To date, 10 mammalian DGK isozymes have been identified, and these isozymes are subdivided into five groups according to their structural features. The type II DGKs, consisting of δ1, δ2, η1, η2 and κ isoforms, possess a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain at their N-termini in addition to the separate catalytic region. Moreover, DGKs δ1, δ2 and η2 have a sterile α motif domain at their C-termini. Recent studies have revealed that type II DGKs play pivotal roles in a wide variety of mammalian signal transduction pathways for cell proliferation and differentiation and glucose metabolism and that the DGKs are involved in cancer, type II diabetes, seizures, hypospadias and bipolar disorder. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the properties and physiological functions of type II DGKs and their involvement in disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocatalysis
  • Bipolar Disorder / enzymology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / classification
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypospadias / enzymology*
  • Hypospadias / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Seizures / enzymology*
  • Seizures / metabolism


  • Isoenzymes
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase