Affiliation: University of Alberta, 303 Heritage Medical Research Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6R 2G2.
Atherosclerosis is one major cause of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in industrialized countries. Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is thought to be one primary pathway to protect against atherosclerosis. The first and rate-limiting step of RCT is ATP-binding cassette transport A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux from the cells. Recently, caveolin-1 (CAV1), a scaffolding protein that organizes and concentrates certain caveolininteracting signaling molecules and receptors within caveolae membranes, has been shown to regulate ABCA1 and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux probably via interacting with them. In the present review, we summarize the current knowledge and views on the regulatory role of CAV1 on the cholesterol homeostasis with emphasis on the association of CAV1 with ABCA1 and ABCG1. We conclude that the dominance of the positive regulation by CAV1 on the ABCA1 and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux is depending on the species, cell types, as well as the levels of CAV1 expression.