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Trends Cell Biol. 1996 Jun;6(6):205-8.

The role of intracellular cholesterol transport in cholesterol homeostasis.

Author information

1
Dept of Pathology, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

Abstract

How cholesterol is transported among the membranes of the cell is obscure. Similarly, the mechanisms governing the abundance of cell cholesterol are not entirely understood. It may be, however, that a link exists between the intracellular transport of cholesterol and its homeostasis. We propose that cholesterol circulates between the plasma membrane, which contains the bulk of the sterol, and organelle membranes, which contain only traces. A putative sensor translates small fluctuations in plasma membrane cholesterol into relatively large changes in this flux, thereby setting the magnitude of the intracellular pools. The cholesterol concentration in the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial membranes then governs the activities of proteins embedded therein that mediate cholesterol transformations. This arrangement creates a feedback loop through which the intracellular effectors regulate the abundance of plasma membrane cholesterol.

PMID:
15157456

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