Structure and function of phosphatidylserine-specific phospholipase A1

Junken Aoki, Yuki Nagai, Hiroyuki Hosono, Keizo Inoue, Hiroyuki Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Phospholipase A1 (PLA1) is an enzyme that hydrolyzes the sn-1 fatty acids from phospholipids and produces 2-acyl-lysophospholipids. Although PLA1 activities are detected in many tissues and cell lines, a limited number of PLA1s have been purified and cloned so far. These include phosphatidylserine (PS)-specific PLA1 (PS-PLA1) from rat platelets, PLA1 from vespid venom, and phosphatidic acid (PA)-preferential PLA1 (PA-PLA1). Structurally, the former two PLA1s belong to the lipase family, where they form a subfamily among the lipase family. An alignment of the PLA1s with other members of the lipase family revealed two molecular characteristics of PLA1: the presence of extremely short lids and deleted β9 loops. The two surface loops have been implicated in the ligand recognition in human pancreatic lipase (PL) and guinea pig PL-related protein 2. Under physiological conditions, accessibility of PS-PLA1 to its substrate is limited as it is a secreted enzyme and PS is normally located in the inner leaflet of the lipid bilayer. However, PS-PLA1 efficiently hydrolyzes PS exposed on the surface of cells such as apoptotic cells and activated platelets, and produces 2-acyl-lysophosphatidylserine (lysoPS), which is a lipid mediator for mast cells, T cells and neural cells. Identification of PS-PLA1 reveals the presence of PLA1 subfamily within the lipase family and suggests that PLA1 has a role in the production of lysophospholipid mediators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 May 23
Externally publishedYes


  • Lysophosphatidylserine
  • Mast cell
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Phospholipase A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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