New developments in selective cholesteryl ester uptake

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Purpose of reviewSelective lipid uptake (SLU) is known to be a major pathway of lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in experimental animals and humans, but remains poorly understood. This review provides a brief overview of SLU mediated by the HDL receptor scavenger receptor B-type I (SR-BI), and highlights several surprising new findings related to the impact of SLU pathways in cholesterol homeostasis.Recent findingsUnder certain conditions, SR-BI-mediated SLU contributes to reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) independently of ABCG5/G8-mediated biliary cholesterol secretion, implying a novel trafficking mechanism. Hepatic SR-BI expression and RCT are decreased in diabetic mice. Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and the microRNAs miR-185, miR-96 and miR-223 are emerging therapeutic targets for increasing SR-BI expression. SR-BI-independent selective cholesteryl ester uptake is a newly characterized pathway in macrophage foam cells.SummaryNew findings underscore the importance of SR-BI-mediated SLU in hepatic SLU and RCT, while indicating that further investigation is needed to define SLU pathways, including SR-BI-independent macrophage selective cholesteryl ester uptake. The intracellular trafficking of cholesterol in these pathways appears to be critical to their normal function and is a major subject of ongoing studies.

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