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Curr Opin Lipidol. 2001 Jun;12(3):289-96.

Roles of acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase-1 and -2.

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Department of Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.


Acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) is an intracellular enzyme that produces cholesteryl esters in various tissues. In mammals, two ACAT genes (ACAT1 and ACAT2) have been identified. Together, these two enzymes are involved in storing cholesteryl esters as lipid droplets, in macrophage foam-cell formation, in absorbing dietary cholesterol, and in supplying cholesteryl esters as part of the core lipid for lipoprotein synthesis and assembly. The key difference in tissue distribution of ACAT1 and ACAT2 between humans, mice and monkeys is that, in adult human liver (including hepatocytes and bile duct cells), the major enzyme is ACAT1, rather than ACAT2. There is compelling evidence implicating a role for ACAT1 in macrophage foam-cell formation, and for ACAT2 in intestinal cholesterol absorption. However, further studies at the biochemical and cell biological levels are needed in order to clarify the functional roles of ACAT1 and ACAT2 in the VLDL or chylomicron synthesis/assembly process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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