The best understood consequence of the collapse of lipid asymmetry is exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) in the external leaflet of the plasma membrane bilayer, where it is known to serve at least two major functions: providing a platform for development of the blood coagulation cascade and presenting the signal that induces phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Lipid asymmetry is collapsed by activation of phospholipid scramblase(s) that catalyze bidirectional transbilayer movement of the major classes of phospholipid. The protein corresponding to this activity is not yet known. Observations on cells from patients with Scott syndrome, a rare hereditary bleeding disorder resulting from impaired lipid scrambling, have shown that there are multiple activation pathways that converge on scramblase activity.
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