Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 83, Issue 5, pp 329–342 | Cite as

The key role of apolipoprotein E in atherosclerosis

  • Kirsty Greenow
  • Nigel J. Pearce
  • Dipak P. Ramji
Review

Abstract

Apolipoprotein E is a multifunctional protein that is synthesized by the liver and several peripheral tissues and cell types, including macrophages. The protein is involved in the efficient hepatic uptake of lipoprotein particles, stimulation of cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells in the atherosclerotic lesion, and the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. Apolipoprotein E deficiency in mice leads to the development of atherosclerosis and re-expression of the protein reduces the extent of the disease. This review presents evidence for the potent anti-atherogenic action of apolipoprotein E and describes our current understanding of its multiple functions and regulation by factors implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease

Keywords

Atherosclerosis Lipid metabolism Lipoproteins Macrophages Reverse cholesterol transport 

Abbreviations

ABCA1

ATP-binding cassette transporter A1

AD

Alzheimer’s disease

apo

Apolipoprotein

apoER2

ApoE receptor 2

HCR

Hepatic control regions

HDL

High density lipoproteins

HSPG

Heparan-sulphate proteoglycans

LDL

Low-density lipoproteins

LDL-R

LDL receptor

LRP

LDL receptor-related protein

ME

Multi-enhancer

SMC

Smooth muscle cells

VLDL

Very low density lipoproteins

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsty Greenow
    • 1
  • Nigel J. Pearce
    • 2
  • Dipak P. Ramji
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiff School of BiosciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.GlaxoSmithKlineGunnels Wood RoadStevenageUK

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