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J Biochem. 2011 Feb;149(2):131-43. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvq140. Epub 2010 Dec 5.

Functions of phospholipid flippases.

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Division of Molecular Interaction, Institute for Genetic Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan.


Asymmetrical distribution of phospholipids is generally observed in the eukaryotic plasma membrane. Maintenance and changes of this phospholipid asymmetry are regulated by ATP-driven phospholipid translocases. Accumulating evidence indicates that type 4 P-type ATPases (P4-ATPases, also called flippases) translocate phospholipids from the exoplasmic leaflet to the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane and internal membranes. Among P-type ATPases, P4-ATPases are unique in that they are associated with a conserved membrane protein of the Cdc50 family as a non-catalytic subunit. Recent studies indicate that flippases are involved in various cellular functions, including transport vesicle formation and cell polarity. In this review, we will focus on the functional aspect of phospholipid flippases.

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