PerspectiveCell Biology

Phosphoinositides as Regulators of Protein-Chromatin Interactions

Science Signaling  01 May 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 222, pp. pe19
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002917

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The molecular function of phospholipids in the nucleus has been only partially elucidated. The upsurge of epigenetic research has contributed to increased interest in nuclear phospholipids, such as phosphoinositides, and their involvement in gene transcription. However, the mechanisms by which phosphoinositides regulate transcription is still unknown at the molecular level. Certain phosphoinositide species can regulate protein-chromatin and protein–nucleic acid interactions, and specific nuclear target proteins link nuclear signaling lipids to gene expression. We propose that a phosphoinositide-mediated detachment of proteins from chromatin is a general biological mechanism that partly underlies the signaling effects of nuclear phosphoinositides.

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