The interface between phosphatidylinositol transfer protein function and phosphoinositide signaling in higher eukaryotes
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Phosphoinositides are key regulators of a large number of diverse cellular processes that include membrane trafficking, plasma membrane receptor signaling, cell proliferation, and transcription. How a small number of chemically distinct phosphoinositide signals are functionally amplified to exert specific control over such a diverse set of biological outcomes remains incompletely understood. To this end, a novel mechanism is now taking shape, and it involves phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) transfer proteins (PITPs). The concept that PITPs exert instructive regulation of PtdIns 4-OH kinase activities and thereby channel phosphoinositide production to specific biological outcomes, identifies PITPs as central factors in the diversification of phosphoinositide signaling. There are two evolutionarily distinct families of PITPs: the Sec14-like and the StAR-related lipid transfer domain (START)-like families. Of these two families, the START-like PITPs are the least understood. Herein, we review recent insights into the biochemical, cellular, and physiological function of both PITP families with greater emphasis on the START-like PITPs, and we discuss the underlying mechanisms through which these proteins regulate phosphoinositide signaling and how these actions translate to human health and disease.
author list (cited authors)
Grabon, A., Bankaitis, V. A., & McDermott, M. I.