The role of PS 18:0/18:1 in membrane function

Nat Commun. 2019 Jun 21;10(1):2752. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10711-1.


Various studies have demonstrated that the two leaflets of cellular membranes interact, potentially through so-called interdigitation between the fatty acyl groups. While the molecular mechanism underlying interleaflet coupling remains to be fully understood, recent results suggest interactions between the very-long-chain sphingolipids in the outer leaflet, and phosphatidylserine PS18:0/18:1 in the inner leaflet, and an important role for cholesterol for these interactions. Here we review the evidence that cross-linking of sphingolipids may result in clustering of phosphatidylserine and transfer of signals to the cytosol. Although much remains to be uncovered, the molecular properties and abundance of PS 18:0/18:1 suggest a unique role for this lipid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / metabolism
  • Cytosol / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism*
  • Sphingolipids / metabolism*


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • Sphingolipids
  • Cholesterol