Changes in membrane curvature are required to control the function of subcellular compartments; malfunctions of such processes are associated with a wide range of human diseases. Membrane remodeling often depends upon the presence of phosphoinositides, which recruit protein effectors for a variety of cellular functions. Phafin2 is a phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P)-binding effector involved in endosomal and lysosomal membrane-associated signaling. Both the Phafin2 PH and the FYVE domains bind PtdIns3P, although their redundant function in the protein is unclear. Through a combination of lipid-binding assays, we found that, unlike the FYVE domain, recognition of the PH domain to PtdIns3P requires a lipid bilayer. Using site-directed mutagenesis and truncation constructs, we discovered that the Phafin2 FYVE domain is constitutive for PtdIns3P binding, whereas PH domain binding to PtdIns3P is autoinhibited by a conserved C-terminal acidic motif. These findings suggest that binding of the Phafin2 PH domain to PtdIns3P in membrane compartments occurs through a highly regulated mechanism. Potential mechanisms are discussed throughout this report.