Of the seven phosphoinositides, PtdIns5P remains the most enigmatic. However, recent research has begun to elucidate its physiological functions. It is now clear that PtdIns5P is found in several distinct subcellular locations, and the identification of a number of PtdIns5P-binding proteins points to its involvement in a variety of key processes, including signal transduction, membrane trafficking and regulation of gene expression. Although the mechanisms that control its turnover are not yet fully understood, the existence of multiple pathways for PtdIns5P regulation is consistent with this emerging versatility.

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