Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jul;1791(7):563-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

The cell cholesterol exporter ABCA1 as a protector from cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-8055, USA.


ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) is an integral cell membrane protein that exports cholesterol from cells and suppresses macrophage inflammation. ABCA1 exports cholesterol by a multistep pathway that involves forming cell-surface lipid domains, solubilizing these lipids by apolipoproteins, binding of apolipoproteins to ABCA1, and activating signaling processes. Thus, ABCA1 behaves both as a lipid exporter and a signaling receptor. ABCA1 transcription is highly induced by sterols, and its expression and activity are regulated post-transcriptionally by diverse processes. ABCA1 mutations can reduce plasma HDL levels, accelerate cardiovascular disease, and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. Genetic manipulations of ABCA1 expression in mice also affect plasma HDL levels, inflammation, atherogenesis, and pancreatic beta cell function. Metabolites elevated in individuals with the metabolic syndrome and diabetes destabilize ABCA1 protein and decrease cholesterol export from macrophages, raising the possibility that an impaired ABCA1 pathway contributes to the enhanced atherogenesis associated with common inflammatory and metabolic disorders. The ABCA1 pathway has therefore become a promising new therapeutic target for treating cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center