New reagents for phosphatidylserine recognition and detection of apoptosis

Bioorg Med Chem. 2005 Sep 1;13(17):5035-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2005.04.071.


The phospholipid bilayer surrounding animal cells is made up of four principle phospholipid components, phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS), and sphingomyelin (SM). These four phospholipids are distributed between the two monolayers of the membrane in an asymmetrical fashion, with PC and SM largely populating the extracellular leaflet and PE and PS restricted primarily to the inner leaflet. Breakdown in this transmembrane phospholipid asymmetry is a hallmark of the early to middle stages of apoptosis. The consequent appearance of PS on the extracellular membrane leaflet is commonly monitored using dye-labeled Annexin V, a 36 kDa, Ca2+-dependent PS binding protein. Substitutes for Annexin V are described, including small molecules, nanoparticles, cationic liposomes, and other proteins that can recognize PS in a membrane surface. Particular attention is given to the use of these reagents for detecting apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism*


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phosphatidylserines