Molecular Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 149–158 | Cite as

The Interaction of ApoA-I and ABCA1 Triggers Signal Transduction Pathways to Mediate Efflux of Cellular Lipids

  • Guo-Jun Zhao
  • Kai Yin
  • Yu-chang Fu
  • Chao-Ke Tang
Review Article


Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) has been characterized as a crucial step for antiatherosclerosis, which is initiated by ATP-binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) to mediate the efflux of cellular phospholipids and cholesterol to lipid-free apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I). However, the mechanisms underlying apoA-I/ABCA1 interaction to lead to the lipidation of apoA-I are poorly understood. There are several models proposed for the interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1 as well as the lipidation of apoA-I mediated by ABCA1. ApoA-I increases the levels of ABCA1 protein markedly. In turn, ABCA1 can stabilize apoA-I. The interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1 could activate signaling molecules that modulate posttranslational ABCA1 activity or lipid transport activity. The key signaling molecules in these processes include protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), Rho GTPases and Ca2+, and many factors also could influence the interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1. This review will summarize these mechanisms for the apoA-I interaction with ABCA1 as well as the signal transduction pathways involved in these processes.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (81170278, 81070220), Heng Yang Joint Funds of Hunan Provincial Natural Sciences Foundation of China (10JJ9019), and Aid Program for Science and Technology Innovative Research Team in Higher Educational Institutions (2008–244) of Human Province, China.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Guo-Jun Zhao
    • 1
  • Kai Yin
    • 1
  • Yu-chang Fu
    • 2
  • Chao-Ke Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Key Laboratory for Atherosclerology of Hunan Province, Life Science Research CenterUniversity of South ChinaHengyang, HunanChina
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition SciencesUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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