Biological roles of lysophosphatidic acid signaling through its production by autotaxin

Shinichi Okudaira, Hiroshi Yukiura, Junken Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) exhibits a wide variety of biological functions as a bio-active lysophospholipid through G-protein-coupled receptors specific to LPA. Currently at least six LPA receptors are identified, named LPA1 to LPA6, while the existence of other LPA receptors has been suggested. From studies on knockout mice and hereditary diseases of these LPA receptors, it is now clear that LPA is involved in various biological processes including brain development and embryo implantation, as well as patho-physiological conditions including neuropathic pain and pulmonary and renal fibrosis. Unlike sphingosine 1-phosphate, a structurally similar bio-active lysophospholipid to LPA and produced intracellularly, LPA is produced by multiple extracellular degradative routes. A plasma enzyme called autotaxin (ATX) is responsible for the most of LPA production in our bodies. ATX converts lysophospholipids such as lysophosphatidylcholine to LPA by its lysophospholipase D activity. Recent studies on ATX have revealed new aspects of LPA. In this review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of LPA functions and several aspects of ATX, including its activity, expression, structure, biochemical properties, the mechanism by which it stimulates cell motility and its pahto-physiological function through LPA production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-706
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun


  • Autotaxin
  • G-protein-coupled receptors
  • Lysophosphatidic acid
  • Lysophospholipid
  • Phospholipase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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