Phospholipase signalling networks in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 Nov;12(11):782-92. doi: 10.1038/nrc3379. Epub 2012 Oct 18.


Phospholipases (PLC, PLD and PLA) are essential mediators of intracellular and intercellular signalling. They can function as phospholipid-hydrolysing enzymes that can generate many bioactive lipid mediators, such as diacylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, lysophosphatidic acid and arachidonic acid. Lipid mediators generated by phospholipases regulate multiple cellular processes that can promote tumorigenesis, including proliferation, migration, invasion and angiogenesis. Although many individual phospholipases have been extensively studied, how phospholipases regulate diverse cancer-associated cellular processes and the interplay between different phospholipases have yet to be fully elucidated. A thorough understanding of the cancer-associated signalling networks of phospholipases is necessary to determine whether these enzymes can be targeted therapeutically.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Phospholipases / metabolism*
  • Phospholipases / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Phospholipases