Eukaryotic Phosphate Homeostasis: The Inositol Pyrophosphate Perspective

Trends Biochem Sci. 2017 Mar;42(3):219-231. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2016.10.008. Epub 2016 Nov 19.


Phosphate, as a cellular energy currency, essentially drives most biochemical reactions defining living organisms, and thus its homeostasis must be tightly regulated. Investigation into the role of inositol pyrophosphates (PP-IPs) has provided a novel perspective on the regulation of phosphate homeostasis. Recent data suggest that metabolic and signaling interplay between PP-IPs, ATP, and inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) influences and is influenced by cellular phosphate homeostasis. Different studies have demonstrated that the SPX protein domain is a key component of proteins involved in phosphate metabolism. How PP-IPs control some aspects of phosphate homeostasis has become clearer with the recently acquired crystal structures of SPX domains. We review here recent studies on eukaryote phosphate homeostasis and provide insights into future research.

Keywords: SPX domain; inorganic polyphosphate; inositol pyrophosphates; metabolism; phosphate; signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Inositol Phosphates / metabolism*


  • Inositol Phosphates