Phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C and mitogenic signaling

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995 Dec 18;1242(2):99-113. doi: 10.1016/0304-419x(95)00006-0.


The importance of PLC activation in cell proliferation is evident from the fact that the hydrolysis of PtdIns(4,5)P2 is one of the early events that follow the interaction of many growth factors and mitogens with their respective receptors. However, the importance of PLC activation is not restricted to proliferation; it is one of the most common transmembrane signaling events elicited by receptors that regulate many other cellular processes, including differentiation, metabolism, secretion, contraction, and sensory perception. It is also clear that cell proliferation signaling does not always require PLC, as indicated by the fact that growth factors such as insulin and CSF-1 do not appear to elicit the hydrolysis of PtdIns(4,5)P2, even though the intracellular domains of their receptors carry a PTK domain and the receptors show topologies very similar to those of the PLC-activating growth factors PDGF, EGF, and FGF. The growth factor-dependent activation of PLC is initiated by the formation of a complex between the receptor PTK and PLC-gamma; the formation of this complex is mediated by a specific interaction between a tyrosine phosphate residue on the intracellular domain of PTK and the SH2 domain of PLC-gamma. The receptor PTK subsequently phosphorylates PLC-gamma, of which two distinct isozymes, PLC-gamma 1 and PLC-gamma 2, have been identified. Proliferation of T cells and B cells in response to the aggregation of their respective cell surface receptors is also accompanied by the activation of PLC-gamma isozymes at an early stage. Unlike growth factor receptors, the T cell and B cell receptors lack intrinsic PTK activity but associate with several non-receptor PTKs of the Src and Syk families. Although the specific kinases are not known, one or more of these enzymes phosphorylate and activate PLC-gamma 1 and PLC-gamma 2. Transduction of growth signals by G protein-coupled receptors such as those for thrombin or bombesin also requires PtdIns(4,5)P2 hydrolysis, which, in this instance, is mediated by PLC-beta isozymes. The PLC-beta subfamily consists of four distinct members: PLC-beta 1, PLC-beta 2, PLC-beta 3, and PLC-beta 4. Agonist interaction with specific G protein-coupled receptors causes the dissociation of Gq proteins into G alpha and G beta gamma subunits and the exchange of GDP bound to G alpha for GTP. The resulting GTP-bound G alpha subunit then activates PLC-beta isoforms by binding to the carboxyl-terminal region of the enzyme.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Mitosis*
  • Phosphatidylinositol Diacylglycerol-Lyase
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Type C Phospholipases / physiology*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol Diacylglycerol-Lyase