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Using immortalized [3H]inositol-labelled S3 cells, we demonstrated in the present study that various elements of the inositol phosphate signalling cascade are recruited by a Drosophila homologue from a cytokine family of so-called GBPs (growth-blocking peptides). HPLC analysis revealed that dGBP (Drosophila GBP) elevated Ins(1,4,5)P3 levels 9-fold. By using fluorescent Ca2+ probes, we determined that dGBP initially mobilized Ca2+ from intracellular pools; the ensuing depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores by dGBP subsequently activated a Ca2+ entry pathway. The addition of dsRNA (double-stranded RNA) to knock down expression of the Drosophila Ins(1,4,5)P3 receptor almost completely eliminated mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stores by dGBP. Taken together, the results of the present study describe a classical activation of PLC (phospholipase C) by dGBP. The peptide also promoted increases in the levels of other inositol phosphates with signalling credentials: Ins(1,3,4,5)P4, Ins(1,4,5,6)P4 and Ins(1,3,4,5,6)P5. These results greatly expand the regulatory repertoire of the dGBP family, and also characterize S3 cells as a model for studying the regulation of inositol phosphate metabolism and signalling by endogenous cell-surface receptors. We therefore created a cell-line (S3ITPK1) in which heterologous expression of human ITPK (inositol tetrakisphosphate kinase) was controlled by an inducible metallothionein promoter. We found that dGBP-stimulated S3ITPK1 cells did not synthesize Ins(3,4,5,6)P4, contradicting a hypothesis that the PLC-coupled phosphotransferase activity of ITPK1 [Ins(1,3,4,5,6)P5+Ins(1,3,4)P3→Ins(3,4,5,6)P4+Ins(1,3,4,6)P4] is driven solely by the laws of mass action [Chamberlain, Qian, Stiles, Cho, Jones, Lesley, Grabau, Shears and Spraggon (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282, 28117-28125]. This conclusion represents a fundamental breach in our understanding of ITPK1 signalling.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem J

Publication Date





273 - 283


Animals, Base Sequence, Calcium Signaling, Cell Line, Cytokines, DNA Primers, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Enzyme Activation, Humans, Inositol Phosphates, Insect Proteins, Models, Biological, Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor), Recombinant Proteins, Signal Transduction, Type C Phospholipases