Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi


  • Ian ForsterEmail author
  • Andreas Werner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_101997


Historical Background

Phosphorus is one of the six essential elements for life. Molecules containing anionic phosphate (PO43−) are constituents of genetic material (DNA, RNA) and are an essential building block of phospholipid membranes, bones, and teeth; high-energy phosphate bonds drive cell energetics via ATP/ADP hydrolysis; phosphorylation/dephosphorylation reactions are key events in intracellular signaling, and phosphate acts as an intra- and extracellular pH buffer. In mammals, phosphate is obtained from the diet in the form of inorganic phosphate (Pi) that exists in solution as negatively charged mono- (H2PO4) and divalent (HPO42−) ions in the physiological pH range. As such Pimust be actively transported “uphill” across the cell membrane from the external medium against...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental HealthParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Cell and Molecular BiosciencesUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneUK