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Science 337 (6095): 653-654

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Precursor or Charge Supplier?

Gregory D. Fairn1, and Sergio Grinstein1,2

Phosphorylated derivatives of phosphatidylinositol (PI) play critical roles in cell signaling and in regulating membrane traffic and cytoskeletal architecture (1). Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P), for instance, is essential to the formation of vesicular carriers in the trans-Golgi network (2), and serves as a substrate for the synthesis of phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] in the plasma membrane. On page 727 of this issue, Hammond et al. (3) reveal an unappreciated function of plasmalemmal PI4P in controlling protein recruitment and ion channel activity.

1 Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8, Canada.
2 Cell Biology Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.

E-mail: sergio.grinstein{at}

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