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Cockcroft, S., Raghu, P. (2016). Topological organisation of the phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-phospholipase C resynthesis cycle: PITPs bridge the ER-PM gap.  Biochem. J. 473(23): 4289--4310.
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Phospholipase C (PLC) is a receptor-regulated enzyme that hydrolyses phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) at the plasma membrane (PM) triggering three biochemical consequences, the generation of soluble inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), membrane-associated diacylglycerol (DG) and the consumption of PM PI(4,5)P2 Each of these three signals triggers multiple molecular processes impacting key cellular properties. The activation of PLC also triggers a sequence of biochemical reactions, collectively referred to as the PI(4,5)P2 cycle that culminates in the resynthesis of this lipid. The biochemical intermediates of this cycle and the enzymes that mediate these reactions are topologically distributed across two membrane compartments, the PM and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). At the PM, the DG formed during PLC activation is rapidly converted into phosphatidic acid (PA) that needs to be transported to the ER where the machinery for its conversion into PI is localised. Conversely, PI from the ER needs to be rapidly transferred to the PM where it can be phosphorylated by lipid kinases to regenerate PI(4,5)P2 Thus, two lipid transport steps between membrane compartments through the cytosol are required for the replenishment of PI(4,5)P2 at the PM. Here, we review the topological constraints in the PI(4,5)P2 cycle and current understanding how these constraints are overcome during PLC signalling. In particular, we discuss the role of lipid transfer proteins in this process. Recent findings on the biochemical properties of a membrane-associated lipid transfer protein of the PITP family, PITPNM proteins (alternative name RdgBα/Nir proteins) that localise to membrane contact sites are discussed. Studies in both Drosophila and mammalian cells converge to provide a resolution to the conundrum of reciprocal transfer of PA and PI during PLC signalling.

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    Biochem. J.
    The Biochemical Journal
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