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Sensors 2011, 11(2), 1744-1755; doi:10.3390/s110201744
Review

Sensing Phosphatidylserine in Cellular Membranes

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Received: 7 December 2010 / Revised: 20 January 2011 / Accepted: 26 January 2011 / Published: 28 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
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Abstract

Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid with a negatively charged head-group, is an important constituent of eukaryotic cellular membranes. On the plasma membrane, rather than being evenly distributed, phosphatidylserine is found preferentially in the inner leaflet. Disruption of this asymmetry, leading to the appearance of phosphatidylserine on the surface of the cell, is known to play a central role in both apoptosis and blood clotting. Despite its importance, comparatively little is known about phosphatidylserine in cells: its precise subcellular localization, transmembrane topology and intracellular dynamics are poorly characterized. The recent development of new, genetically-encoded probes able to detect phosphatidylserine within live cells, however, is leading to a more in-depth understanding of the biology of this phospholipid. This review aims to give an overview of the current methods for phosphatidylserine detection within cells, and some of the recent realizations derived from their use.
Keywords: phosphatidylserine; C2 domain; GFP; membrane dynamics; fluorescence microscopy phosphatidylserine; C2 domain; GFP; membrane dynamics; fluorescence microscopy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kay, J.G.; Grinstein, S. Sensing Phosphatidylserine in Cellular Membranes. Sensors 2011, 11, 1744-1755.

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