Phosphatidylinositol consists of a family of lipids which, in the context of independent variation, is a class of the phosphatidylglycerides. In such molecules, the isomer of the inositol group is assumed to be the myo- conformer unless otherwise stated. Typically, phosphatidylinositols form a minor component on the cytosolic side of eukaryotic cell membranes. The phosphate group gives the molecules a negative charge at physiological pH. The form of phosphatidylinositol comprising the isomer muco-inositol acts as a sensory receptor in the taste function of the sensory system. In this context it is often referred to as PtdIns, but that does not imply any molecular difference from phosphatidylinositols comprising the myo- conformers of inositol. The phosphatidylinositol can be phosphorylated to form phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PI-4-P, referred to as PIP in close context or informally), phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) and phosphatidylinositol trisphosphate (PIP3). All lipids based on phosphatidylinositol are known as inositides, or sometimes phosphoinositides.

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