, Volume 59, Issue 7, pp 1129-1137

Diacylglycerol kinases in nuclear lipid-dependent signal transduction pathways

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Several independent groups have shown that lipid-dependent signal transduction systems operate in the nucleus and that they are regulated independently from their membrane and cytosolic counterparts. A sizable body of evidence suggests that nuclear lipid signaling controls critical biological functions such as cell proliferation and differentiation. Diacylglycerol is a fundamental lipid second messenger which is produced in the nucleus. The levels of nuclear diacylglycerol fluctuate during the cell cycle progression, suggesting that such a molecule has important regulatory roles. Most likely, nuclear diacylglycerol serves as a chemoattractant for some isoforms of protein kinase C that migrate to the nucleus in response to a variety of agonists. The nucleus also contains diacylglycerol kinases, i.e. the enzymes that, by converting diacylglycerol into phosphatidic acid, terminate diacylglycerol-dependent events. A number of diacylglycerol kinases encoded by separate genes are present in the mammalian genome. This review aims at highlighting the different isotypes of diacylglycerol kinases identified at the nuclear level as well as at discussing their potential function and regulation.

Received 4 December 2001; received after revision 28 January 2002; accepted 31 January 2002