Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase and the Control of Endosome Dynamics: New Players Defined by Structural Motifs



Phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity has been implicated in fundamental cellular functions such as endosomal trafficking, growth-factor receptor signal transduction, and cell survival. This multiplicity of actions can be attributed to the existence of three classes of PI 3-kinases in mammalian cells, which can together lead to the production of fourknown distinct end products: PtdIns(3)P, PtdIns(3,4)P2, PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 and PtdIns(3,5)P2. The challenge of deciphering the connection between PI 3-kinase activity, the production of specific phosphoinositides and the control of specific cellular events is being met with the discovery of novel structural motifs that interact specifically with distinct PI 3-kinase products.