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J Biol Chem. 2017 Mar 17;292(11):4544-4555. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.765743. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

The Significance of the Bifunctional Kinase/Phosphatase Activities of Diphosphoinositol Pentakisphosphate Kinases (PPIP5Ks) for Coupling Inositol Pyrophosphate Cell Signaling to Cellular Phosphate Homeostasis.

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From the Laboratory of Signal Transduction, NIEHS, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27709.
Department of Chemistry, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
Institute of Organic Chemistry, Albert Ludwigs University, Albertstrasse 21, 79104 Freiburg, Germany, and.
Division of Cardiology, McAllister Heart Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599.
From the Laboratory of Signal Transduction, NIEHS, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27709,


Proteins responsible for Pi homeostasis are critical for all life. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, extracellular [Pi] is "sensed" by the inositol-hexakisphosphate kinase (IP6K) that synthesizes the intracellular inositol pyrophosphate 5-diphosphoinositol 1,2,3,4,6-pentakisphosphate (5-InsP7) as follows: during a period of Pi starvation, there is a decline in cellular [ATP]; the unusually low affinity of IP6Ks for ATP compels 5-InsP7 levels to fall in parallel (Azevedo, C., and Saiardi, A. (2017) Trends. Biochem. Sci. 42, 219-231. Hitherto, such Pi sensing has not been documented in metazoans. Here, using a human intestinal epithelial cell line (HCT116), we show that levels of both 5-InsP7 and ATP decrease upon [Pi] starvation and subsequently recover during Pi replenishment. However, a separate inositol pyrophosphate, 1,5-bisdiphosphoinositol 2,3,4,6-tetrakisphosphate (InsP8), reacts more dramatically (i.e. with a wider dynamic range and greater sensitivity). To understand this novel InsP8 response, we characterized kinetic properties of the bifunctional 5-InsP7 kinase/InsP8 phosphatase activities of full-length diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate kinases (PPIP5Ks). These data fulfil previously published criteria for any bifunctional kinase/phosphatase to exhibit concentration robustness, permitting levels of the kinase product (InsP8 in this case) to fluctuate independently of varying precursor (i.e. 5-InsP7) pool size. Moreover, we report that InsP8 phosphatase activities of PPIP5Ks are strongly inhibited by Pi (40-90% within the 0-1 mm range). For PPIP5K2, Pi sensing by InsP8 is amplified by a 2-fold activation of 5-InsP7 kinase activity by Pi within the 0-5 mm range. Overall, our data reveal mechanisms that can contribute to specificity in inositol pyrophosphate signaling, regulating InsP8 turnover independently of 5-InsP7, in response to fluctuations in extracellular supply of a key nutrient.


inositol phosphate; metabolism; phosphatase; signal transduction; signaling

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