A conspicuous connection: Structure defines function for the phosphatidylinositol-phosphate kinase family

Jessica N. Heck, David L. Mellman, Kun Ling, Yue Sun, Matthew P. Wagoner, Nicholas J. Schill, Richard A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) kinases are a unique family of enzymes that generate an assortment of lipid messengers, including the pivotal second messenger phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI4,5P2). While members of the PIP kinase family function by catalyzing a similar phosphorylation reaction, the specificity loop of each PIP kinase subfamily determines substrate preference and partially influences distinct subcellular targeting. Specific protein-protein interactions that are unique to particular isoforms or splice variants play a key role in targeting PIP kinases to appropriate subcellular compartments to facilitate the localized generation of PI4,5P2 proximal to effectors, a mechanism key for the function of PI4,5P2 as a second messenger. This review documents the discovery of the PIP kinases and their signaling products, and summarizes our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying the localized generation of PI4,5P2 by PIP kinases for the regulation of cellular events including actin cytoskeleton dynamics, vesicular trafficking, cell migration, and an assortment of nuclear events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-39
Number of pages25
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Lipid messengers
  • PIP kinase structure
  • Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI4,5P)
  • Phosphoinositide signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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