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Nature. 2005 Dec 1;438(7068):605-11.

Plasma membrane phosphoinositide organization by protein electrostatics.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA.


Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), which comprises only about 1% of the phospholipids in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane, is the source of three second messengers, activates many ion channels and enzymes, is involved in both endocytosis and exocytosis, anchors proteins to the membrane through several structured domains and has other roles. How can a single lipid in a fluid bilayer regulate so many distinct physiological processes? Spatial organization might be the key to this. Recent studies suggest that membrane proteins concentrate PIP2 and, in response to local increases in intracellular calcium concentration, release it to interact with other biologically important molecules.

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