Distribution, dynamics and functional roles of phosphatidylserine within the cell

Cell Commun Signal. 2019 Oct 15;17(1):126. doi: 10.1186/s12964-019-0438-z.


Phosphatidylserine (PtdSer), an essential constituent of eukaryotic membranes, is the most abundant anionic phospholipid in the eukaryotic cell accounting for up to 10% of the total cellular lipid. Much of what is known about PtdSer is the role exofacial PtdSer plays in apoptosis and blood clotting. However, PtdSer is generally not externally exposed in healthy cells and plays a vital role in several intracellular signaling pathways, though relatively little is known about the precise subcellular localization, transmembrane topology and intracellular dynamics of PtdSer within the cell. The recent development of new, genetically-encoded probes able to detect phosphatidylserine is leading to a more in-depth understanding of the biology of this phospholipid. This review aims to give an overview of recent developments in our understanding of the role of PtdSer in intracellular signaling events derived from the use of these recently developed methods of phosphatidylserine detection.

Keywords: Flippase; Phosphatidylserine; Plasma membrane; Scramblase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells / cytology
  • Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism*


  • Phosphatidylserines