Phosphatidylserine (PS) synthesis was studied in glioma C6 cells with [14C]serine and in the presence or absence of the phorbol ester, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). It was found that incubation of the cells with 10 nM or 100 nM TPA for 1 h inhibited PS formation by 30% and 60%, respectively. Long-term (18 h) treatment of the cells with 100 nM TPA diminished PS formation and further addition of TPA to down-regulated cells did not affect PS synthesis. The data show that the changes in PS synthesis can be associated with alterations in morphology of cell and the actin cytoskeleton organization. The role of protein kinase C in this process is discussed.