Hydrolysis of phosphatidyl inositol-bisphosphate (PIP2) by phospholipase C (PLC) produces diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol triphosphate (IP3). Both are potent second messengers. IP3 diffuses into the cytosol, but as DAG is a hydrophobic lipid it remains within the plasma membrane. IP3 stimulates the release of calcium ions from the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, while DAG activates the conventional and unconventional protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms, facilitating the translocation of PKC from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. The effects of DAG are mimicked by tumor-promoting phorbol esters. DAG is also a precursor for the biosynthesis of prostaglandins, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol and an activator of a subfamily of TRP-C (Transient Receptor Potential Canonical) cation channels 3, 6, and 7.