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Cancer Surv. 1996;27:199-211.

The control of inositol lipid hydrolysis.

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CBC Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology, Chester Beatty Laboratories, London.


Hydrolysis of PIP2 by specific PLC enzymes is involved in the regulation of different cellular processes by many extracellular signals. The need stringently to control this reaction is reflected by the fact that there are many PLC isozymes and multiple mechanisms linking these isozymes to various receptors. For two of the three PLC families found in mammalian cells (PLC beta and gamma), the components of the main regulatory pathways have been identified. PLC beta isozymes are regulated through G protein coupled receptors. Their activity is stimulated by interaction with alpha subunit from the Gq family and interaction with G protein beta gamma subunits. PLC gamma isozymes are regulated through receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases. The combination of SH2 dependent complex formation with phosphorylated tyrosine kinases and the subsequent phosphorylation of PLC gamma leads to stimulation of its activity. Although components that stimulate PLC beta and gamma isozymes have been identified, the molecular mechanism of stimulation remains largely unknown. Each signalling component operating within this general framework represents a family of related proteins. It is not clear what all the functional differences between members of the same family may be and to what extent they could determine specificity of individual signalling pathways. Similarly, it is not known to what extent alterations in PLC function/expression contribute to human pathologies. In the context of oncology, there is evidence for upregulation of PLC gamma in parallel with increased expression of the EGF receptor (Artega et al. 1991). However, it is not clear yet whether this is causally involved or a bystander effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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