Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) is a minor but ubiquitous component of the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. However, due to its particular complex biophysical properties, it stands out from its neighboring lipids as one of the most important regulators of membrane-associated signaling events. Despite its very low steady-state concentration, PI(4,5)P2 is able to engage in a multitude of simultaneous cellular functions that are temporally and spatially regulated through the presence of localized transient pools of PI(4,5)P2 in the membrane. These pools are crucial for the recruitment, activation, and organization of signaling proteins and consequent regulation of downstream signaling. The present review showcases some of the most important PI(4,5)P2 molecular and biophysical properties as well as their impact on its membrane dynamics, lateral organization, and interactions with other biochemical partners.
Keywords: calcium-induced clustering; lipid domains; phosphoinositides.