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PI4P and PI(4,5)P2 Are Essential But Independent Lipid Determinants of Membrane Identity

Science, 10 August 2012
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, p. 727-730
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222483

PI4P and PI(4,5)P2 Are Essential But Independent Lipid Determinants of Membrane Identity

  1. Gerald R. V. Hammond1,3,*,
  2. Michael J. Fischer1,
  3. Karen E. Anderson2,
  4. Jon Holdich1,
  5. Ardita Koteci1,
  6. Tamas Balla3,
  7. Robin F. Irvine1,*
  1. 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1PD, UK.
  2. 2Inositide Laboratory, Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, UK.
  3. 3Section on Molecular Signal Transduction, Program for Developmental Neuroscience, National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
  1. *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gerald.hammond{at} (G.R.V.H.) or rfi20{at} (R.F.I.)


The quantitatively minor phospholipid phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] fulfills many cellular functions in the plasma membrane (PM), whereas its synthetic precursor, phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P), has no assigned PM roles apart from PI(4,5)P2 synthesis. We used a combination of pharmacological and chemical genetic approaches to probe the function of PM PI4P, most of which was not required for the synthesis or functions of PI(4,5)P2. However, depletion of both lipids was required to prevent PM targeting of proteins that interact with acidic lipids or activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 cation channel. Therefore, PI4P contributes to the pool of polyanionic lipids that define plasma membrane identity and to some functions previously attributed specifically to PI(4,5)P2, which may be fulfilled by a more general polyanionic lipid requirement.

  • Received for publication 27 March 2012.
  • Accepted for publication 12 June 2012.


G. R. Hammond, M. J. Fischer, K. E. Anderson, J. Holdich, A. Koteci, T. Balla, and R. F. Irvine, PI4P and PI(4,5)P2 Are Essential But Independent Lipid Determinants of Membrane Identity. Science 337, 727-730 (2012).

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