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ABCA1

Synonym: ATP-binding cassette transporter A1
German: ABCA1

1 Definition

ABCA1 is a membrane protein which transports cholesterol from the cytosol to the cell surface as a part of the reverse cholesterol transport (cholesterol efflux). It belongs to the family of ATP binding cassettes (ABC). Those are transport proteins that bind and hydrolyze ATP. ABCA1 is expressed mainly in endothelial cells.

see also: ATPase

2 Biochemistry

ABCA1 transporters play an important role in lipid transport and metabolism due to their capability of transporting cholesterol through a cellular membrane. The transport process can only occur under energy consumption and is thus ATP dependent.

After ATP binds to ABCA1 and is hydrolyzed, Cholesterol (and some phospholipids) can be transported to the cell surface of the endothelial cell where is "presented". This allows the apolipoprotein Apo A1 to bind the presented cholesterol which leads to the formation of pre-beta HDL or HDL.

The transport of lipids and cholesterol through ABCA1 is also possible through intracellular membranes.

3 Clinical relevance

A mutation in the ABCA1-coding gene causes HDL deficiency, or Tangier disease in which the release of cholesterol from the cell is impaired.

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