While accumulating evidence indicates that P4-ATPases catalyze phospholipid transport across cellular bilayers, their kinship to cation-pumping ATPases has raised fundamental questions concerning the underlying flippase mechanism. Loss of P4-ATPase function perturbs vesicle formation in late secretory and endocytic compartments. An intriguing concept is that P4-ATPases help drive vesicle budding by generating imbalances in transbilayer lipid numbers. Moreover, activation of P4-ATPases by phosphoinositides and other effectors of coat recruitment provide a potential mechanism to confine flippase activity to sites of vesicle biogenesis. These developments have raised considerable interest in understanding the mechanism, regulation and biological implications of P4-ATPase-catalyzed phospholipid transport.
©2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York