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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Dec 15;1529(1-3):321-30.

Tangier disease and ABCA1.

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  • 1University of Washington, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Box 356426, Seattle, WA 98195-6426, USA.


Tangier disease is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by a severe high-density lipoprotein (HDL) deficiency, sterol deposition in tissue macrophages, and prevalent atherosclerosis. Mutations in the ATP binding cassette transporter ABCA1 cause Tangier disease and other familial HDL deficiencies. ABCA1 controls a cellular pathway that secretes cholesterol and phospholipids to lipid-poor apolipoproteins. This implies that an inability of newly synthesized apolipoproteins to acquire cellular lipids by the ABCA1 pathway leads to their rapid degradation and an over-accumulation of cholesterol in macrophages. Thus, ABCA1 plays a critical role in modulating flux of tissue cholesterol and phospholipids into the reverse cholesterol transport pathway, making it an important therapeutic target for clearing excess cholesterol from macrophages and preventing atherosclerosis.

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