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Biochemistry. 2007 Aug 21;46(33):9388-98. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

The role of different regions of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 in cholesterol efflux.

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Baker Heart Research Institute, P.O. Box 6492, St. Kilda Road Central, Melbourne, Victoria, 8008 Australia.


ABCA1 is a key element of cholesterol efflux, but the mechanism of ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux is still unclear. Monoclonal antibodies against ABCA1 were used to map functional domains of ABCA1. Two antibodies were directed against a fragment of the first extracellular loop of ABCA1, and the third antibody was directed against a fragment of the fourth extracellular loop. One antibody against the first loop inhibited cholesterol efflux from human macrophages without inhibiting apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) binding and internalization. Another antibody against the first loop inhibited apoA-I binding and internalization without inhibiting cholesterol efflux. The antibody against the fourth loop inhibited apoA-I binding to ABCA1 but enhanced cholesterol efflux from macrophages and reduced intracellular cholesterol content. This antibody also increased cholesterol efflux from HeLa cells transfected with ABCA1 but not from cells with DeltaPEST-ABCA1. The mechanism of the stimulating effect of this antibody on cholesterol efflux was found to be stabilization of ABCA1 leading to the increase in abundance of cell surface ABCA1. We conclude that a site on the first extracellular loop is required for cholesterol efflux, whereas a site on the fourth extracellular loop may be responsible for ABCA1 stability.

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