Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an anionic phospholipid found on the membranes of a variety of organelles throughout the cell, most notably the plasma membrane. Under homeostatic conditions, PS is typically restricted to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. However, during cellular activation and/or induction of cell death, PS is externalized on the outer surface via the activation of phospholipid scramblases. Externalized PS not only changes the biochemical and biophysical properties of the plasma membrane but also initiates a series of interactions between endogenous extracellular proteins as well as receptors on neighboring cells to stimulate engulfment (efferocytosis) that influence the surrounding immune milieu. In this thematic series published in Cell Communication and Signaling, we feature review articles that highlight recent work in the field of PS biology, including the biochemistry and physiological significance of PS externalization, therapeutic applications and efforts to target PS, as well as posit open questions that remain in the field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology