The aim of these experiments was to investigate whether inositol lipids might mediate some of the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) on cellular form and functions. The lipid phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) plays a role in cytoskeletal regulation while its hydrolysis products, diacylglycerol and inositol triphosphate, serve as second messengers. We therefore measured the effect of adhesion to fibronectin (FN) on PIP2 and its hydrolysis products, in the presence and absence of the soluble mitogen PDGF. PDGF induced a threefold increase in release of water-soluble inositol phosphates in C3H 10T1/2 fibroblasts when cells were attached to FN, but had little effect in suspended cells. Suppression of inositol phosphate release in unattached cells was not due to dysfunction of the PDGF receptor or failure to activate phospholipase C-gamma; PDGF induced similar tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC-gamma under both conditions. By contrast, the total mass of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2), the substrate for PLC-gamma, was found to decrease by approximately 80% when cells were detached from their ECM attachments and placed in suspension in the absence of PDGF. PIP2 levels were restored when suspended cells were replated on FN, demonstrating that the effect was reversible. Furthermore, a dramatic increase in synthesis of PIP2 could be measured in cells within 2 min after reattachment to FN in the absence of PDGF. These results show that FN acts directly to stimulate PIP2 synthesis, and that it also enhances PIP2 hydrolysis in response to PDGF. The increase in PIP2 induced by adhesion may mediate some of the known effects of FN on cell shape and cytoskeletal organization, while regulation of inositol lipid hydrolysis may provide a means for integrating hormone- and ECM-dependent signaling pathways.

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