The predominant pathway for phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) synthesis is thought to be phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate at the 5 position of the inositol ring by type I phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinases (PIPK): PIPKIα, PIPKIβ, and PIPKIγ. PIPKIγ has been shown to play a role in PI(4,5)P2 synthesis in brain, and the absence of PIPKIγ is incompatible with postnatal life. Conversely, mice lacking PIPKIα or PIPKIβ (isoforms are referred to according to the nomenclature of human PIPKIs) live to adulthood, although functional effects in specific cell types are observed. To determine the contribution of PIPKIα and PIPKIβ to PI(4,5)P 2 synthesis in brain, we investigated the impact of disrupting multiple PIPKI genes. Our results show that a single allele of PIPKIγ, in the absence of both PIPKIα and PIPKIβ, can support life to adulthood. In addition, PIPKIα alone, but not PIPKIγ alone, can support prenatal development, indicating an essential and partially overlapping function of PIPKIα and PIPKIβ during embryogenesis. This is consistent with early embryonic expression of PIPKIα and PIPKIγ but not of PIPKIβ. PIPKIβ expression in brain correlates with neuronal differentiation. The absence of PIPKIβ does not impact embryonic development in the PIPKIγ knock-out (KO) background but worsens the early postnatal phenotype of the PIPKIγ KO (death occurs within minutes rather than hours). Analysis of PIP2 in brain reveals that only the absence of PIPKIγ significantly impacts its levels. Collectively, our results provide new evidence for the dominant importance of PIPKIγ in mammals and imply that PIPKIα and PIPKIβ function in the generation of specific PI(4,5)P2 pools that, at least in brain, do not have a major impact on overall PI(4,5)P2 levels. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.