Phosphatidic acid (PA) is a glycerophospholipid intermediate in the triglyceride synthesis pathway that has incredibly important structural functions as a component of cell membranes and dynamic effects on intracellular and intercellular signaling pathways. Although there are many pathways to synthesize and degrade PA, a family of PA phosphohydrolases (lipin family proteins) that generate diacylglycerol constitute the primary pathway for PA incorporation into triglycerides. Previously, it was believed that the pool of PA used to synthesize triglyceride was distinct, compartmentalized, and did not widely intersect with signaling pathways. However, we now know that modulating the activity of lipin 1 has profound effects on signaling in a variety of cell types. Indeed, in most tissues except adipose tissue, lipin-mediated PA phosphohydrolase activity is far from limiting for normal rates of triglyceride synthesis, but rather impacts critical signaling cascades that control cellular homeostasis. In this review, we will discuss how lipin-mediated control of PA concentrations regulates metabolism and signaling in mammalian organisms.
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