PerspectiveBiochemistry

A Discrete Signaling Function for an Inositol Pyrophosphate

Science's STKE  11 Dec 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 416, pp. pe72
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4162007pe72

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Abstract

Inositol pyrophosphates were, until recently, without clearly defined functions. Two recent papers in Science have now clearly defined a function for an IP7 pyrophosphate (inositol hexaphosphate with one pyrophosphate) that is the product of the enzyme encoded by the Vip1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This IP7 with a pyrophosphate tentatively assigned to be on either the 4 or 6 position is a cofactor that is required for inactivating the cyclin–cyclin-dependent kinase complex of Pho80, Pho81, and Pho85. Inhibition of the kinase results in the nuclear translocation of Pho4, which is a transcription factor that promotes expression of genes required for phosphate assimilation under conditions of low phosphate. When grown in low-phosphate media, IP7 accumulates, which leads to the expression of genes involved in the acquisition of phosphate.

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