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Nature communications

A lysine-rich motif in the phosphatidylserine receptor PSR-1 mediates recognition and removal of apoptotic cells.


PMID 25564762

Abstract

The conserved phosphatidylserine receptor (PSR) was first identified as a receptor for phosphatidylserine, an 'eat-me' signal exposed by apoptotic cells. However, several studies suggest that PSR may also act as an arginine demethylase, a lysyl hydroxylase, or an RNA-binding protein through its N-terminal JmjC domain. How PSR might execute drastically different biochemical activities, and whether they are physiologically significant, remain unclear. Here we report that a lysine-rich motif in the extracellular domain of PSR-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans PSR, mediates specific phosphatidylserine binding in vitro and clearance of apoptotic cells in vivo. This motif also mediates phosphatidylserine-induced oligomerization of PSR-1, suggesting a mechanism by which PSR-1 activates phagocytosis. Mutations in the phosphatidylserine-binding motif, but not in its Fe(II) binding site critical for the JmjC activity, abolish PSR-1 phagocytic function. Moreover, PSR-1 enriches and clusters around apoptotic cells during apoptosis. These results establish that PSR-1 is a conserved, phosphatidylserine-recognizing phagocyte receptor.

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