, Volume 59, Issue 8, pp 1285-1295

ABCA2: a candidate regulator of neural transmembrane lipid transport

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Studies in the past years have implicated multispan transmembrane transport molecules of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter family in cellular lipid export processes. The prototypic ABC transporter ABCA1 has recently been demonstrated to act as a major facilitator of cellular cholesterol and phospholipid export. Moreover, the transporter ABCA4 (ABCR) plays a pivotal role in retinaldehyde processing, and ABCA3 has recently implicated in lung surfactant processing. These pioneering observations have directed considerable attention to the A subfamily of ABC proteins. ABCA2 is the codefining member of the ABC A-transporter subclass. Although known for some time, it was not until recently that its complete molecular structure was established. Unlike other ABC A-subfamily members, ABCA2 is predominantly expressed in the brain and neural tissues. The unique expression profile together with available structural data suggest roles for this largest known ABC protein in neural transmembrane lipid export.

Received 31 January 2002; received after revision 11 March 2002; accepted 11 March 2002