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Curr Opin Lipidol. 2004 Jun;15(3):287-95.

Scavenger receptor BI: a scavenger receptor with a mission to transport high density lipoprotein lipids.

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Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University Medical Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8651, USA.



This review will survey recent findings on the cholesterol transport and scavenger functions of scavenger receptor BI. Although scavenger receptor BI and CD36 bind many of the same ligands, these two receptors have very specific lipid transport functions: CD36 facilitates the uptake of long chain fatty acids and SR-BI mediates the transport of cholesterol and cholesteryl ester from HDL particles. Scavenger receptor BI is a physiologically relevant HDL receptor that, along with HDL, is protective against cardiovascular disease. Its atheroprotective role has been hypothesized to be due to its function in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway.


Recent studies suggest that scavenger receptor BI function is not only crucial for cholesterol delivery to the liver but is also important for cholesterol efflux at the vessel wall. Therefore, the receptor acts at both ends of the reverse cholesterol transport pathway. In addition, it stimulates nitric oxide production in endothelial cells, which may also contribute to its positive influence on the vasculature. Lastly, the glycoprotein was cloned as a scavenger receptor and in some cases is still thought to operate in this fashion.


It will be interesting to follow future research on scavenger receptor BI that will delineate its functions in cholesterol transport as well as its scavenger functions. Additionally, we are only beginning to learn of the glycoprotein's effects on disease states besides atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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