Reference: Li Y and Prinz WA (2004) ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters mediate nonvesicular, raft-modulated sterol movement from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum. J Biol Chem 279(43):45226-34

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Abstract


Little is known about the mechanisms of intracellular sterol transport or how cells maintain the high sterol concentration of the plasma membrane (PM). Here we demonstrate that two inducible ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters (Aus1p and Pdr11p) mediate nonvesicular movement of PM sterol to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This transport facilitates exogenous sterol uptake, which we find requires steryl ester synthesis in the ER. Surprisingly, while expression of Aus1p and Pdr11p significantly increases sterol movement from PM to ER, it does not alter intracellular sterol distribution. Thus, ER sterol is likely rapidly returned to the PM when it is not esterified in the ER. We show that the propensity of PM sterols to be moved to the ER is largely determined by their affinity for sterol sphingolipid-enriched microdomains (rafts). Our findings suggest that raft association is a primary determinant of sterol accumulation in the PM and that Aus1p and Pdr11p facilitate sterol uptake by increasing the cycling of sterol between the PM and ER.

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Journal Article
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Li Y, Prinz WA
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