The serum-derived lipid growth factors, lysophosphatidate (LPA) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), activate cells selectively through different members of a family of endothelial differentiation gene (EDG) receptors. Activation of EDG receptors by LPA and S1P provides a variety of signalling cascades depending upon the G-protein coupling of the different EDG receptors. This leads to chemotactic and mitogenic responses, which are important in wound healing. For example, LPA stimulates fibroblast division and S1P stimulates the chemotaxis and division of endothelial cells leading to angiogenesis. Counteracting these effects of LPA and S1P, are the actions of lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPP, or phosphatidate phosphohydrolases, Type 2). The isoform LPP-1 is expressed in the plasma membrane with its active site outside the cell. This enzyme is responsible for ‘ecto-phosphatase’ activity leading to the degradation of exogenous lipid phosphate mediators, particularly LPA. Expression of LPP-1 decreases cell activation by exogenous LPA. The mechanism for this is controversial and several mechanisms have been proposed. Evidence will be presented that the LPPs cross-talk with EDG and other growth factor receptors, thus, regulating the responses of the cells to lipid phosphate mediators of signal transduction.

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