Advances in our understanding of the roles of phosphatidylinositol phosphates in controlling cellular functions such as endocytosis, exocytosis and the actin cytoskeleton have included new insights into the phosphatases that are responsible for the interconversion of these lipids. One of these is an entirely novel class of phosphatase domain found in a number of well characterized proteins. Proteins containing this Sac phosphatase domain include the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Sac1p and Fig4p. The Sac phosphatase domain is also found within the mammalian phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase synaptojanin and the yeast synaptojanin homologues Inp51p, Inp52p and Inp53p. These proteins therefore contain both Sac phosphatase and 5-phosphatase domains. This review describes the Sac phosphatase domain-containing proteins and their actions, with particular reference to the genetic and biochemical insights provided by study of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
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