Intimate connections: Inositol pyrophosphates at the interface of metabolic regulation and cell signaling

J Cell Physiol. 2018 Mar;233(3):1897-1912. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26017. Epub 2017 Jun 15.


Inositol pyrophosphates are small, diffusible signaling molecules that possess the most concentrated three-dimensional array of phosphate groups in Nature; up to eight phosphates are crammed around a six-carbon inositol ring. This review discusses the physico-chemical properties of these unique molecules, and their mechanisms of action. Also provided is information on the enzymes that regulate the levels and hence the signaling properties of these molecules. This review pursues the idea that many of the biological effects of inositol pyrophosphates can be rationalized by their actions at the interface of cell signaling and metabolism that is essential to cellular and organismal homeostasis.

Keywords: cell signaling; inositol pyrophosphates; kinase; metabolism; phosphatase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Chlamydomonas / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inositol / chemistry*
  • Polyphosphates / chemistry*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Polyphosphates
  • Inositol