Keeping Cholesterol in Check

Science's STKE  05 Sep 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 48, pp. tw5
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.48.tw5

Controlling the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the digestive tract is an integral part of maintaining whole-body cholesterol homeostasis. Repa et al. (see the news story by Ferber) report that certain nuclear steroid receptors regulate this process. One nuclear receptor heterodimer stimulates the expression of a transmembrane protein of the ABC-binding cassette family and facilitates cholesterol efflux from intestinal cells. Another receptor heterodimer decreases the pool of bile acids in the liver, molecules that are needed to absorb free cholesterol. These activities serve to reverse cholesterol transport and to decrease absorption of cholesterol and further expand the roles of nuclear steroid receptors in maintaining cholesterol homeostasis.

Repa, J.J., Turley, S.D., Lobaccaro, J.-M. A., Median, J., Li, L., Lustig, K., Shan, B., Heyman, R.A., Dietschy, J.M., and Mangelsdorf, D.J. (2000) Regulation of absorption and ABC1-mediated efflux of cholesterol by RXR heterodimers. Science 289: 1524-1529. [Abstract] [Full Text]

Ferber, D. (2000) Possible new way to lower cholesterol. Science 289: 1446-1447. [Full Text]