Sepsis remains a complex syndrome associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is now widely accepted that the pathways of inflammation, coagulation, apoptosis, and endothelial permeability are intimately linked in sepsis pathophysiology. The clinical success of activated protein C (APC), a natural anticoagulant, in reducing mortality in patients with severe sepsis has fuelled basic and preclinical research on the protective effects of this molecule. Over the past 15 years, impressive research advances have provided novel insights into the multifunctional activities of APC. APC is now viewed not only as an anticoagulant, but also as a cell signaling molecule that dampens the excessive or insufficiently controlled host response during sepsis. This review attempts to summarize the pleiotropic activities of APC with focus on its ability to inhibit coagulation, inflammation, apoptosis, and endothelial barrier breakdown. A comprehensive PUBMED literature review up to May 2008 was conducted.