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Front Plant Sci. 2015 Feb 12;6:67. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00067. eCollection 2015.

Biosynthesis and possible functions of inositol pyrophosphates in plants.

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Biochemistry, Virginia Polytechnic and State University Blacksburg, VA, USA.
Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC, USA.


Inositol phosphates (InsPs) are intricately tied to lipid signaling, as at least one portion of the inositol phosphate signaling pool is derived from hydrolysis of the lipid precursor, phosphatidyl inositol (4,5) bisphosphate. The focus of this review is on the inositol pyrophosphates, which are a novel group of InsP signaling molecules containing diphosphate or triphosphate chains (i.e., PPx) attached to the inositol ring. These PPx-InsPs are emerging as critical players in the integration of cellular metabolism and stress signaling in non-plant eukaryotes. Most eukaryotes synthesize the precursor molecule, myo-inositol (1,2,3,4,5,6)-hexakisphosphate (InsP6), which can serve as a signaling molecule or as storage compound of inositol, phosphorus, and minerals (referred to as phytic acid). Even though plants produce huge amounts of precursor InsP6 in seeds, almost no attention has been paid to whether PPx-InsPs exist in plants, and if so, what roles these molecules play. Recent work has delineated that Arabidopsis has two genes capable of PP-InsP5 synthesis, and PPx-InsPs have been detected across the plant kingdom. This review will detail the known roles of PPx-InsPs in yeast and animal systems, and provide a description of recent data on the synthesis and accumulation of these novel molecules in plants, and potential roles in signaling.


VIP; energy metabolism; inositol hexakisphosphate; inositol pyrophosphate; plant inositol signaling

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