Inositol phosphates are important intracellular second messengers in eukaryotic cells. Inositol, a cyclic molecule with six hydroxyl groups, forms the hydrophobic head group of membrane inositol phospholipids. The actions of lipid kinases and phosphatases on the inositol ring of inositol phospholipids generate a variety of phosphoinositol phospholipids. As a result of upstream signaling events, specific phospholipases are activated, cleave phosphoinositol phospholipids, and release intracellular inositol phosphate second messenger molecules. The most studied inositol phosphate second messenger is inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3). IP3 is released from phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) by the action of phospholipase C-β and is responsible for the release of calcium ions from intracellular stores in the endoplasmic reticulum.