Diacylglycerol (DAG) is a lipid second messenger produced by receptor stimulated phospholipase C and is capable of activating several PKC isoforms. Classical PKC isoforms require simultaneous presence of calcium and DAG for activation and relocation to membranes. The aim of this study was to synthesize a photolabile precursor of DAG and examine the effect of an immediate increase of the signaling lipid on PKC relocation. Caged DAG was synthesized using a photoreleasable 7-diethyl-aminocoumarin (DEACM) group. Photolysis was monitored in vitro by an increase in coumarin fluorescence from which an uncaging quantum yield of 1.1% was determined. This quantum yield proved ideal for efficient uncaging at high UV power while allowing localization of the fluorescent compound at low UV power. Taking advantage of the coumarin fluorescence, it was demonstrated that DEACM-DiC8 accumulated inside cells. Effects of DAG photorelease on periodic relocations of PKCbetaII, induced by histamine, UTP or EGF, were studied. Photorelease of DAG in cyto immediately increased the amplitude and duration of relocation events, regardless of the agonist used. Together, the results demonstrate the usefulness of caged DAG for dissecting PKC signaling and suggest that DAG levels are limiting during signaling.