Plant phosphoinositide-dependent phospholipases C: variations around a canonical theme

Biochimie. 2014 Jan;96:144-57. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2013.07.004. Epub 2013 Jul 12.


Phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) cleaves, in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI-4,5-P2) into diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol triphosphate (IP3). PI-PLCs are multidomain proteins that are structurally related to the PI-PLCζs, the simplest animal PI-PLCs. Like these animal counterparts, they are only composed of EF-hand, X/Y and C2 domains. However, plant PI-PLCs do not have a conventional EF-hand domain since they are often truncated, while some PI-PLCs have no EF-hand domain at all. Despite this simple structure, plant PI-PLCs are involved in many essential plant processes, either associated with development or in response to environmental stresses. The action of PI-PLCs relies on the mediators they produce. In plants, IP3 does not seem to be the sole active soluble molecule. Inositol pentakisphosphate (IP5) and inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) also transmit signals, thus highlighting the importance of coupling PI-PLC action with inositol-phosphate kinases and phosphatases. PI-PLCs also produce a lipid molecule, but plant PI-PLC pathways show a peculiarity in that the active lipid does not appear to be DAG but its phosphorylated form, phosphatidic acid (PA). Besides, PI-PLCs can also act by altering their substrate levels. Taken together, plant PI-PLCs show functional differences when compared to their animal counterparts. However, they act on similar general signalling pathways including calcium homeostasis and cell phosphoproteome. Several important questions remain unanswered. The cross-talk between the soluble and lipid mediators generated by plant PI-PLCs is not understood and how the coupling between PI-PLCs and inositol-kinases or DAG-kinases is carried out remains to be established.

Keywords: ABA; DAG; DAG-kinase; DGK; IP(3); IP(5); IP(6); Inositol-phosphate; Lipid signalling; PA; PH; PI; PI-4,5-P(2); PI-4-P; PI-PLC; PLD; Phosphatidic acid; Phosphoinositides; Phospholipase C; SA; SUMO; abscisic acid; diacylglycerol; inositol hexakisphosphate; inositol pentakisphosphate; inositol triphosphate; phosphatidic acid; phosphatidylinositol; phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate; phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate; phosphoinositide-dependent phospholipase C; phospholipase D; pleckstrin homology; salicylic acid; small ubiquitin-like modifier.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C / chemistry
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C / genetics*
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / enzymology*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Plant Proteins
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C