Diacylglycerols and phosphatidates: Which molecular species are intracellular messengers?

Matthew N. Hodgkin*, Trevor R. Pettitt, Ashley Martin, Robert H. Michell, Anthony J. Pemberton, Michael J.O. Wakelam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

255 Citations (Scopus)


In eukaryotes, many receptor agonists use phospholipase-generated lipids as intracellular messengers. Receptor occupation stimulates the production of polyunsaturated 1,2-diacylglycerols by phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate- specific phospholipases C and/or of mono-unsaturated and saturated phosphatidates by phospholipase-D-catalysed phosphatidylcholine breakdown. The primary phospholipase products are rapidly metabolized: polyunsaturated 1,2-diacylglycerols are converted to polyunsaturated phosphatidates by diacylglycerol kinase; mono-unsaturated and saturated phosphatidates are dephosphorylated to give mono-unsaturated and saturated 1,2-diacylglycerols by phosphatidate phosphohydrolase. The phospholipase-generated polyunsaturated 1,2-diacylglycerols and mono-unsaturated and saturated phosphatidates appear to be intracellular messengers, whereas their immediate metabolites probably do not have signalling functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-204
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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