A minor phospholipid in eukaryotes that has a very important role in the response of cells to external ligands. The derivatives phosphatidyl inositol-phosphate PIP and phosphatidyl inositol- bisphosphate PIP2 are formed and broken down in cell membranes, and the trisphosphate inositol moiety InsP.O is important as a secondary messenger within the cytoplasm.

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