ABCA1 Increases Extracellular ATP to Mediate Cholesterol Efflux to ApoA-I

ABCA1 Increases Extracellular ATP to Mediate Cholesterol Efflux to ApoA-I

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Title: ABCA1 Increases Extracellular ATP to Mediate Cholesterol Efflux to ApoA-I
Author: Lee, Jee Yeon
Abstract: ABCA1 is a key plasma membrane protein required for the efflux of cellular cholesterol to extracellular acceptors, particularly to apoA-I. This process is essential to maintain cholesterol homeostasis in the body. The detailed molecular mechanisms, however, are still insufficiently understood. Also, the molecular identity of ABCA1, i.e. channel, pump or flippase, remains unknown. In this study we analyzed the extracellular ATP levels in the medium of ABCA1-expressing BHK cells and RAW macrophages and compared them to the medium of relevant non-expressing cells. We found that the extracellular ATP concentrations are significantly elevated when cells express ABCA1. Importantly, a dysfunctional ABCA1 mutant (A937V), when expressed similarly as WT-ABCA1, is unable to raise extracellular ATP concentration. This suggests a causal relationship between functional ABCA1 and elevated extracellular ATP. To explore the physiological role of elevated extracellular ATP, we analyzed ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux under the conditions where extracellular ATP levels were modulated. We found that increasing extracellular ATP within the physiological range, i.e. < μM, promotes cholesterol efflux to apoA-I. On the other hand, removing extracellular ATP, either by adding apyrase to the medium or by expressing a plasma membrane bound ecto-nucleotidase CD39, abolishes cholesterol efflux to apoA-I. Based on these results we conclude that, through direct or indirect mechanisms, ABCA1 functions to raise ATP levels in the medium. This elevated extracellular ATP is required for ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux to apoA-I.
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20519
Supervisor: Zha, Xiaohui
Faculty: Sciences / Science
Degree: MSc

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