Identification of a Receptor Mediating Absorption of Dietary Cholesterol in the Intestine

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Here we show that scavenger receptor class B type I is present in the small-intestine brush border membrane where it facilitates the uptake of dietary cholesterol from either bile salt micelles or phospholipid vesicles. This receptor can also function as a port for several additional classes of lipids, including cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols, and phospholipids. It is the first receptor demonstrated to be involved in the absorption of dietary lipids in the intestine. In liver and steroidogenic tissues, the physiological ligand of this receptor is high-density lipoprotein. We show that binding of high-density lipoprotein and apolipoprotein A-I to the brush border membrane-resident receptor inhibits uptake of cholesterol (sterol) into the brush border membrane from lipid donor particles. This finding lends further support to the conclusion that scavenger receptor BI catalyzes intestinal cholesterol uptake. Our findings suggest new therapeutic approaches for limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol and reducing hypercholesterolemia and the risk of atherosclerosis.



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