Recent work has uncovered roles for inositide signalling pathways downstream of phospholipase C activation and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate in the regulation of nuclear processes including gene expression, mRNA export and DNA metabolism. The identification of several IPKs (inositol polyphosphate kinases) has renewed interest in the cellular roles of inositol tetra-, penta-, hexa- and pyro-phosphates. Discoveries of inositide receptors and novel mechanisms of inositide action have provided important insights into how such messengers couple to nuclear machinery. In this chapter, we discuss the IPK family members and the nuclear processes that their inositide products regulate.

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Author notes

The Biochemical Society's Annual Symposium, The Cell Biology of Inositol Lipids and Phosphates, was held at the University of Birmingham on 29-31 March 2006.