Phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins: negotiating the regulatory interface between lipid metabolism and lipid signaling in diverse cellular processes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Phosphoinositides represent only a small percentage of the total cellular lipid pool. Yet, these molecules play crucial roles in diverse intracellular processes such as signal transduction at membrane-cytosol interface, regulation of membrane trafficking, cytoskeleton organization, nuclear events, and the permeability and transport functions of the membrane. A central principle in such lipid-mediated signaling is the appropriate coordination of these events. Such an intricate coordination demands fine spatial and temporal control of lipid metabolism and organization, and consistent mechanisms for specifically coupling these parameters to dedicated physiological processes. In that regard, recent studies have identified Sec14-like phosphatidylcholine transfer protein (PITPs) as "coincidence detectors," which spatially and temporally link the diverse aspects of the cellular lipid metabolome with phosphoinositide signaling. The integral role of PITPs in eukaryotic signal transduction design is amply demonstrated by the mammalian diseases associated with the derangements in the function of these proteins, to stress response and developmental regulation in plants, to fungal dimorphism and pathogenicity, to membrane trafficking in yeast, and higher eukaryotes. This review updates the recent advances made in the understanding of how these proteins, specifically PITPs of the Sec14-protein superfamily, operate at the molecular level and further describes how this knowledge has advanced our perception on the diverse biological functions of PITPs.

published proceedings

  • Biofactors

author list (cited authors)

  • Ghosh, R., & Bankaitis, V. A.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Ghosh, Ratna||Bankaitis, Vytas A

publication date

  • July 2011