Inositol triphosphate

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Inositol trisphosphate or inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (also commonly known as triphosphoinositol; abbreviated InsP3 or IP3), together with diacylglycerol, is a second messenger molecule used in signal transduction in biological cells. It is made by hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), a phospholipid that is located in the plasma membrane, by phospholipase C.


IP3 binds to and activates the InsP3 receptor on the membrane of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) opens a calcium channel, resulting in the release of Ca2+ into the sarcoplasm.[1] This increase in Ca2+ activates the ryanodine receptor-operated channel on the SR, leading to a further increase in the Ca2+.



Its main functions are to mobilize Ca2+ from storage organelles and to regulate cell proliferation and other cellular reactions.

In smooth muscle cells, for example, the increase in calcium concentration cell results in contraction of the muscle cell.[2]. For further reading of Ca2+-mediated functions, see functions of calcium in humans.

Fruit fly

For example, in the fruit fly Drosophila, InsP3 is used for intracellular transduction of light recognition in eye cells.

See also

External links


  1. Ferris CD, Snyder SH. IP3 receptors. Ligand-activated calcium channels in multiple forms. Adv Second Messenger Phosphoprotein Res. 1992;26:95-107. PMID 1329896
  2. Somlyo AP, Somlyo AV. Signal transduction and regulation in smooth muscle. Nature. 1994 Nov 17;372(6503):231-6. PMID 7969467

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