The Lysophosphatidylserines-An Emerging Class of Signalling Lysophospholipids

J Membr Biol. 2020 Oct;253(5):381-397. doi: 10.1007/s00232-020-00133-2. Epub 2020 Aug 7.


Lysophospholipids are potent hormone-like signalling biological lipids that regulate many important biological processes in mammals (including humans). Lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine-1-phosphate represent the best studied examples for this lipid class, and their metabolic enzymes and/or cognate receptors are currently under clinical investigation for treatment of various neurological and autoimmune diseases in humans. Over the past two decades, the lysophsophatidylserines (lyso-PSs) have emerged as yet another biologically important lysophospholipid, and deregulation in its metabolism has been linked to various human pathophysiological conditions. Despite its recent emergence, an exhaustive review summarizing recent advances on lyso-PSs and the biological pathways that this bioactive lysophospholipid regulates has been lacking. To address this, here, we summarize studies that led to the discovery of lyso-PS as a potent signalling biomolecule, and discuss the structure, its detection in biological systems, and the biodistribution of this lysophospholipid in various mammalian systems. Further, we describe in detail the enzymatic pathways that are involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of this lipid and the putative lyso-PS receptors reported in the literature. Finally, we discuss the various biological pathways directly regulated by lyso-PSs in mammals and prospect new questions for this still emerging biomedically important signalling lysophospholipid.

Keywords: GPCR; Lipases; Lysophosphatidylserine; Macrophage efferocytosis; Mast cell degranulation; TLR2.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Degranulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lysophospholipids / chemistry
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phagocytosis / immunology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Membrane Lipids
  • lysophosphatidylserine