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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(2):1744-55. doi: 10.3390/s110201744. Epub 2011 Jan 28.

Sensing phosphatidylserine in cellular membranes.

Author information

1
Program in Cell Biology, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave., Toronto, ON M5G1X8, Canada. Jason.Kay@sickkids.ca

Abstract

Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid with a negatively charged head-group, is an important constituent of eukaryotic cellular membranes. On the plasma membrane, rather than being evenly distributed, phosphatidylserine is found preferentially in the inner leaflet. Disruption of this asymmetry, leading to the appearance of phosphatidylserine on the surface of the cell, is known to play a central role in both apoptosis and blood clotting. Despite its importance, comparatively little is known about phosphatidylserine in cells: its precise subcellular localization, transmembrane topology and intracellular dynamics are poorly characterized. The recent development of new, genetically-encoded probes able to detect phosphatidylserine within live cells, however, is leading to a more in-depth understanding of the biology of this phospholipid. This review aims to give an overview of the current methods for phosphatidylserine detection within cells, and some of the recent realizations derived from their use.

KEYWORDS:

C2 domain; GFP; fluorescence microscopy; membrane dynamics; phosphatidylserine

PMID:
22319379
PMCID:
PMC3274058
DOI:
10.3390/s110201744
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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