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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Jan-Feb;41(1):21-49.

The diverse biological functions of phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins in eukaryotes.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, School of Medicine, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Phosphatidylinositol/phosphatidylcholine transfer proteins (PITPs) remain largely functionally uncharacterized, despite the fact that they are highly conserved and are found in all eukaryotic cells thus far examined by biochemical or sequence analysis approaches. The available data indicate a role for PITPs in regulating specific interfaces between lipid-signaling and cellular function. In this regard, a role for PITPs in controlling specific membrane trafficking events is emerging as a common functional theme. However, the mechanisms by which PITPs regulate lipid-signaling and membrane-trafficking functions remain unresolved. Specific PITP dysfunctions are now linked to neurodegenerative and intestinal malabsorption diseases in mammals, to stress response and developmental regulation in higher plants, and to previously uncharacterized pathways for regulating membrane trafficking in yeast and higher eukaryotes, making it clear that PITPs are integral parts of a highly conserved signal transduction strategy in eukaryotes. Herein, we review recent progress in deciphering the biological functions of PITPs, and discuss some of the open questions that remain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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