The molecular biology of the group VIA Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2

Zhongmin Ma, John Turk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

90 Scopus citations


The group VIA PLA2 is a member of the PLA2 superfamily. This enzyme, which is cytosolic and Ca2+-independent, has been designated iPLA2β to distinguish it from another recently cloned Ca2+-independent, PLA2. Features of iPLA2β molecular structure offer some insight into possible cellular functions of the enzyme. At least two catalytically active iPLA2β isoforms and additional splicing variants are derived from a single gene that consists of at least 17 exons located on human chromosome 22q13.1. Potential tumor suppressor genes also reside at or near this locus. Structural analyses reveal that iPLA2β contains unique structural features that include a serine lipase consensus motif (GXSXG), a putative ATP-binding domain, an ankyrin-repeat domain, a caspase-3 cleavage motif DVTD138Y/N, a bipartite nuclear localization signal sequence, and a proline-rich region in the human long isoform. iPLA2β is widely expressed among mammalian tissues, with highest expression in testis and brain. iPLA2β prefers to hydrolyze fatty acid at the sn-2 fatty acid substituent but also exhibits phospholipase A1, lysophospholipase, PAF acetylhydrolase, and transacylase activities. iPLA2β may participate in signaling, apoptosis, membrane phospholipid remodeling, membrane homeostasis, arachidonate release, and exocytotic membrane fusion. Structural features and the existence of multiple splicing variants of iPLA2β suggest that iPLA2β may be subject to complex regulatory mechanisms that differ among cell types. Further study of its regulation and interaction with other proteins may yield insight into how its structural features are related to its function.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology
Number of pages33
StatePublished - 2001


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