Inositol lipids and phosphates in the regulation of the growth and differentiation of haemopoietic and other cells.

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Stimulation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis is an important signalling reaction involved in the responses of cells to some, but not all, stimuli that promote cell proliferation. Active agents in this regard include antigens activating T and B lymphocytes, angiotensin (employing a receptor encoded by the mas oncogene), bombesin and platelet-derived growth factor PDGF). However, accumulating evidence suggests that inositol lipids and phosphates also have other roles in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. Growth factor receptors that encode tyrosine kinases (such as that for PDGF) activate a kinase that synthesises phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate, a novel lipid, and loss of this kinase-activating function abolishes growth-promoting activity. Human interleukin-4, a lymphokine that activates B lymphocytes, appears to employ phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis as a brief initial signal that is followed by a sustained rise in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP): both signals are needed for the successful induction of the surface antigen CD23. Moreover, the same inositol lipid signalling pathway as is employed by antigen-stimulated mature T lymphocytes to provoke proliferation may be redeployed in immature T cells to trigger their elimination when they encounter self-antigens. Finally, studies of HL60 promyelocytic cells have shown that these cells contain high concentrations of inositol 3,4,5,6-tetrakisphosphate, 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate and hexakisphosphate, three inositol polyphosphates that are probably formed independently of inositol lipid metabolism. When these cells are induced to differentiate either towards neutrophils (in the presence of dimethylsulphoxide) or macrophages (in phorbol myristate acetate), cessation of growth and acquisition of differentiated characteristics are accompanied by large and different changes in the concentrations of these inositol phosphates that may be characteristic of these two pathways of differentiation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Issue number1239
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990