▪ Abstract 

The physiological effects of many extracellular stimuli are mediated by receptor-promoted activation of phospholipase C (PLC) and consequential activation of inositol lipid-signaling pathways. These signaling responses include the classically described conversion of PtdIns(4,5)P to the Ca2+-mobilizing second messenger Ins(1,4,5)P and the protein kinase C–activating second messenger diacylglycerol as well as alterations in membrane association or activity of many proteins that harbor phosphoinositide binding domains. Here we discuss how the family of PLCs elaborates a minimal catalytic core typified by PLC-δ to confer multiple modes of regulation on their phospholipase activities. Although PLC-dependent signaling is prominently regulated by direct interactions with heterotrimeric G proteins or tyrosine kinases, the existence of at least 13 divergent PLC isozymes promises a diverse repertoire of regulatory mechanisms for this class of important signaling proteins. We focus here on the recently realized and extensive regulation of inositol lipid signaling by Ras superfamily GTPases directly acting on PLC isozymes and conclude by considering the biological and pharmacological ramifications of this regulation.

Keyword(s): phosphoinositidePLC-βPLC-ϵRacRho

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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